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Date: 2007/09/19 17:24:27, Link
Author: dheddle
OK, you'll note I am logged in as dheddle instead of heddle. This is because my heddle account went crazy--not allowing me to do anything, always giving me some message about "you are not allowed to access..." even though I was logged in!

This is your doing steve_story: run and hide, run and hide!

Now I cannot do my research, because you have pulled the plug on my lab.

Grrr.

Date: 2007/09/20 10:09:15, Link
Author: dheddle
What have you guys done to UD? Put it back now. This instant. I'm not kidding. Don't make me tell you again!

Date: 2007/09/20 11:36:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 20 2007,10:22)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 20 2007,10:09)
What have you guys done to UD? Put it back now. This instant. I'm not kidding. Don't make me tell you again!

Don't cross us, Heddle. We can do that to ANY website, if you know what I mean and I think you do.  :angry:

heddle? I'm dheddle, dammit!

Date: 2007/09/20 12:08:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Sep. 20 2007,12:00)
   
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Sep. 20 2007,17:49)
   
Quote (factician @ Sep. 20 2007,10:25)
Densy:

     
Quote
Anyone who thinks that the fact that girls are not as good as boys in math means that girls do not rule is obviously not in contact with many girls.


Ummm...  Huh?

Link

"Math is hard!" - Barbie

"Math is a meaningless non word, created by someone who decided that Mathematics was somehow not a plural" Pedantic Brit.

Now, now...

It's biology, not biologies
It's chemistry, not chemistries
It's math, not maths
It's Darwinism, not Darwinisms (heh)
It's computer science, not computer sciences*

Only Physics, as it should, warrants the "royal we."

--------
*But that wouldn't matter anyway, because of the old adage: any discipline with the word science in its name, isn't.

Date: 2007/09/20 17:07:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Yo Arden,

Dude, don’t go bringing in data to challenge my theory. How gauche. How last millennium. These days, we don’t need no stinkin’ data.

Date: 2007/09/21 11:49:51, Link
Author: dheddle
IF ID Were a handicapper for the mob

The mob would be in a financial crisis, ID would be swimming with the fishes, and we’d be awash in single malt scotch.

Date: 2007/09/21 14:29:56, Link
Author: dheddle
Am I missing the boat on this? It seems amazingly hideous. Is Dembski is violating Peter Irons's trust? Or are they both violating the trust of the people Irons emails? Or the whole thing is a parody, or street theater, or is hell is being stuck in a bad Swedish movie and I’ve been damned?

What does the sentence Peter Irons, it appears, has been corresponding... followed by in the last month Irons has forwarded to me… compute?

Am I on 'ludes? How do these jibe?

I know—I’m reading this but just not getting it. It gots to be my fault. Help me if you can. The internal pressure on my skull is rising to dangerous levels.

Date: 2007/09/22 06:29:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Wesley,

     
Quote
Really? Where is this evidence? The stuff that the OSC and Souder's staff published went quite some way to showing that the claim of NCSE nefariousness was, shall we say, terminologically inexact.

See Ed Brayton's analysis of the Souder staff report and especially its appendix.


I disagree in part with Ed’s analysis—although probably this is not the forum (well, maybe the forum, but not the thread) to debate it. In this case it seems to me that Ed presented well thought out tactics as evidence of a kind of purity of motive. I suppose that is one way to spin it.   Clearly the NCSE did not wish Sternberg to becaome a martyr—who would suggest otherwise? The worst thing you can do to someone you want to discredit is to make a martyr out of him. Scott says as much in the Hans Sues email, stating that to make him a martyr would have the effect of promoting ID. As for his religious views, yes Scott tactically advised that should they not be attacked, but she also provided links to his creationist articles, descriptions of his creationist activities, and a characterization of his personal views as clearly outside of the mainstream. So in additon to providing good political advice, I would say she also did a pretty good rendition of "Stand there, be quiet, and don't think about a green elephant."

No, I don't see that she was being honorable in suggesting that he shouldn’t be made a martyr and his religious views shouldn’t be attacked publically, I see that she was being clever. Also I think (just a gut feeling) that Hans Sues gave the impression that he was a very non-tactical loose cannon.  He wasn't even substantiating your level playing field argument (ID papers would be reviewed fairly) but writing that they should not be given a fair treatment.  He needed to be handled so that the whole situation could be dealt with delicately and not give ammo to the DI.

When I read comments from Scott such as "Were I truly paranoid I might think…" I take them to mean "What I really think is…" Color me cynical. And comments describing a "soft stand" by McDiarmid: "[McDiarmid] thought the decision to publish had been made 'without a hidden agenda.' Hmmmm I don't think we have a situation of an innocent editor just making a mistake…" do not read to me as professional fact-providing.

I try to be objective about these matters. And no matter how I look at it, the Scott emails appear to me to be an unseemly, behind the scenes, tactical battle plan. It would have far more professional, in my opinion, for Scott to stick to the traditional approaches to make the NCSE position known, writing op-eds, etc., rather than exchanging emails with insiders.

At one point Scott writes, in the "talking points" kindly provided by the NCSE: "One feels awkward about proffering unrequested advice, but you were kind enough to suggest below that such might be welcome!" I think she was right to feel awkward.

I agree with Ed that the DI made more of this report that what it actually was, but I still conclude that Scott's email exchange speaks for itself—behind the scenes manipulation and damage control. I think it was unprofessional.

Date: 2007/09/22 11:34:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Wesley,

I am stating that the evidence is the email itself. I thought I made that clear. I grant it is in the eye of the beholder, it is opinion--how could it be otherwise unless Scott tells us her intentions or was incredibly stupid, which we know she is far from? I, in trying to look at it objectively, with some insider understanding about how questionable journal publications are normally dealt with, see ample evidence that Scott went above and beyond common practice and that she did indeed try to besmirch Sternberg's reputation--though she did it with a politician's guile. And I think the reason was to blunt, as much as possible, what the ID side was going to claim as a watershed victory--a peer reviewed publication. She couldn't undo the publication, but she could go after the editor, behind the scenes, and she did.

Beyond that, we'll have to agree to disagree.

SteveS,

I don't know what this "mote in your eye" theme you keep using means. If you think that because I am so hard on the ID movement that I feel the need to compensate--well you can think that, but it's not true, and it just shows you don't know me very well. If I see something that I think is wrong on either side, and I feel it is worth blogging about, I will. So when I write about the motes in your side's eyes, it's because I see motes in your side's eyes.

Date: 2007/09/22 12:40:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Wesley,

Yes I am saying that. The intent was to make him look like an incompetent editor in order to discredit Meyer's paper, and part of the technique was to provide information on Sternberg's creationist activities.

Meyer's paper should have been dealt with by attacking the paper, as PT did. But that apparently wasn't enough--Sternberg had to be made the fool, and it was done behind the scenes, in what I view as an unseemly manner. Had I a vote in the NCSE, I would have voted no, let's not do it this way, it's beneath us.

Date: 2007/09/24 14:49:24, Link
Author: dheddle
OT: I know you guys are all aflutter about reaching page 666. You do realize, of course that you celebration should possibly have taken place earlier, on page 616.

This beastly train has left the station.

Date: 2007/09/26 07:59:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Is it just me, or do get the impression that Matthew Tan thinks Darwinism is religion?

Date: 2007/09/26 09:14:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 26 2007,08:57)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 26 2007,08:59)
Is it just me, or do get the impression that Matthew Tan thinks Darwinism is religion?

 
Quote
In my opinion, Darwinism has become a religion.


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-138816

looks like it. I don't recall anything about Tan, but is there something special about this? 'Darwinism is a religion / atheism / satanism' is par for the course over there.

I was being facetious. It seems that every time he posts he provides links to his (or someone's) arguments that Darwinism is religion. And he also gives the impression that this is a novel criticism—as if he is waiting for his fellow UDers to proclaim: "Geez Louise, check these arguments out—Darwinism is a religion—we’re home free! Game over, man!"

Date: 2007/10/03 09:26:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Sleeveless pullovers are not cool.

However, apropos nothing, El Camino SS's rock.

OT: Any AtBCers in the Hampton Roads area of VA, where I'll be a livin' as of next week?

Date: 2007/10/03 09:42:02, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 03 2007,09:29)
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 03 2007,09:26)
Sleeveless pullovers are not cool.

However, apropos nothing, El Camino SS's rock.

OT: Any AtBCers in the Hampton Roads area of VA, where I'll be a livin' as of next week?

Wooo Hooo Heddle's up for beers!

I'll be at a wedding in DC, trying to give a best man speech that frames the to-be-married-miscreant in a good light. Is that close?

Richard,

It's about 3 hours, unless you get stuck in DC beltway traffic, in which case it can take as long as forty years.

Date: 2007/10/04 09:34:31, Link
Author: dheddle
I wish I lived in the universe where the resident dheddle chose not to read the MWI post on UD or at least chose not to follow the link to here where I read:
Quote
What many ID advocates fail to realize is that even this latest, exponential widening (to infinity and beyond!) of the ever-growing "pool of chance" that materialists have drawn from to rationalize the presence of humans and human mind in a material universe, only argues for the validity and usefulness of the intelligent design theory in this universe!

Obviously, if everything had to be ordered (let's say by necessity of the existence of infinite variations of universe) in a precise way, and sequenced in a precise way as if there was intelligence ordering it in order to arrive at human existence and mind, then any model that used chance or non-directed probability would ultimately fail and be lacking compared to an ID model that was based on specifically ordered events that were goal-oriented.

The MWI argument is that out of infinite non-productive variations of universes we have one (or more, but we're in this one) that by chance is so ordered and specific that it has generated product (intelligent, conscious life forms with incredibly specified, complex biologies that are manifest from coded instructions) that utterly defies random, non-directed modeling, as well as an anthropic universe that utterly defies random, non-directed modeling.

Even if our universe is the necessary chance result of infinite, many-world iterations of universes, intelligent design would necessarily be a far better model of description and analysis than non-directed models in many scientific ventures, because an ID model would more accurately describe the incredibly ordered, highly-improbable patterns of supposed "chance" outcomes in this particular universe.

Ahh-wreh?

This kind of arguing reminds me of one of my favorite short stories, the infinite library of Borges's The Library of Babel. By construction every book was there, including the book that explained the library--but alas also an infinite number of books that credibly refuted the true explanation.

Date: 2007/10/05 13:49:08, Link
Author: dheddle
That is pretty darn cool, although the face that evolved looks like a cross between Genghis Khan and Natalie Portman. I would have preferred just Natalie Portman.

Date: 2007/11/06 09:05:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 06 2007,05:26)
 
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Nov. 05 2007,16:15)
In hardback, The God Delusion has sold 326,694 copies. It's still selling 2000+ a week.

Paperback is due in January, at which time it will pick up again. By the end of next year, it's fairly likely there will be close to a million copies in print.

Worldwide, the English-language version has sold 1.25 million copies, and there are 31 foreign-language editions.

(From Dawkins' speech at the AAI convention)

Big deal. My own book has sold around 10000000 copies.

(We all are using the binary system, right?)

Date: 2007/11/17 05:52:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 16 2007,20:51)
The Committee on Nixplanatory Accuracy has ruled on Stanton Rockwell's phantom bannination here.

Interesting, but I am concerned that your solution violates unitarity and is not renormalizable.

Date: 2007/11/19 14:39:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Oh Where is ke, where is Lenny, where is Great White Wonder??

You guys are dangerously close to being, um, corporate. Maybe you could become the Glaxo-Smith-Kline Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Board.

Date: 2007/11/19 15:11:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 19 2007,15:07)
 
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 19 2007,14:50)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 19 2007,14:39)
Oh Where is ke, where is Lenny, where is Great White Wonder??

a) no one knows
b) Louis drove him away
c) I don't think he ever posted here and let's hope he finally has his meds right.

Where is Sasquatch?

So does Medved know where ke is?

Date: 2007/11/21 11:55:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Man, I am so confused now that I don’t who are the particles and who are the anti-particles. In fact, AtBC and UD may just be one huge vacuum polarization. I am glad I was banned with extreme prejudice at UD, even though I can longer be confident it was actually WAD who banned me, or even if he really exists, because taking sock puppets seriously, which I have done a few times, is supremely embarrassing.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:37:01, Link
Author: dheddle
Put me in the camp of those who think the sock puppets at UD are not amusing. I’d rather see you guys get on with a pseudonym and ask real questions (as long as possible) rather than do the parody shtick.

NOT added in edit: why--because I have no edit privileges! When I was just heddle I had edit privileges. But one fine day that account went apoplectic, and now I am dheddle, dammit, and I got no stinkin’ edit privileges. It's persecution, it is. What say you, Mr. Steve Story?

And another thing, there was some hint a couple pages back about Velma being the dream girl for nerdy types of a certain era. Not so—the ultimate nerdy-guy dream girl was Jordan  (Michelle Meyrink) in the movie Real Genius.

Date: 2007/12/05 10:18:29, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 05 2007,00:28)
Hey, all you people who've actually voted on tenure?

Does alluding to a potential tenure case before it comes up actually open a review board to lawsuits? If

I should hope not, but I guess it depends on what you mean by "allude." If you have passed around emails saying that "there is no way I'd vote for X because of extracurricular activity Y" then the wise thing would be to recuse yourself from the committee. But in any case I've been involved with, you pretty much know 95% of what there is to know, including dirty laundry, before you actually review the candidate's dossier. You know if he has been productive, has grants, or has controversial activities. Universities are more prone to gossip than bridge clubs.

Tenure never has been and never will be a totally objective process. Unless you are demonstrably world class, it will always be the case that you must satisfy one unwritten requirement: that your department actually wants you. If they don't, you’re toast, and in any typical (as in non-world-class) application there is usually enough wiggle room to justify denying tenure. And if the same typical candidate is coveted by his department, the same wiggle room will permit justification for recommending tenure--although in that case it can still be derailed higher up the food chain.

I like Gonzalez. I think he is the best of the marquis IDers. I think the habitability-observability correlation discussed in the PP is both interesting and expressible agnostically (scientifically—without ID baggage.) I hope he follows the common path of parlaying a tenure denial at a research university into a position at a teaching college—Christian or secular. I especially wish he would tell the DI: “thanks, but you’ve, um, helped me enough.” Alas, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Self-referential edit added in edit: I can edit.

Date: 2007/12/05 10:52:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Arden,

 
Quote
David, don't you think the smart thing for Gonzalez to do would have been to tell the D.I. to go the hell away as soon as he was turned down? Seems to me if he simply had quietly revised his CV and started applying for new jobs, he'd be in a MUCH better position job-wise now. His decision to let the D.I. make him a public spectacle has probably trashed his prospects of a position at any place better than Bob Jones University*. I don't think the D.I. has 'helped' him in any way whatsoever.


I do, but I'm not Gonzalez and I’m in a quite different position--I'm not even on the DI's radar. In his case, I suspect they are his close friends and colleagues, and so he probably has a very positive view of the DI.

By the way, the oft-mentioned-in-comment-boxes alternatives for GG, Bob Jones and Liberty U, are actually not possibilities. Both demand affirmation of a young earth, and GG certainly is not a YEC. There are very respectable Christian universities where an OEC view is acceptable, and hopefully he can end up at one of them, if that's what he wants to do. Normally he would have a decent chance at a secular liberal arts college—but (I'm guessing) even that will now be nearly impossible given the uproar and publicity.

Date: 2007/12/05 11:11:39, Link
Author: dheddle
Arden,

Quote
What help do you think the DI has done for GG? You don't say what that would be.


I don’t know what help the DI could have or did provide. I’m just speculating. And the speculation is that GG was a DI golden boy, and that he was involved in the upper echelons of the DI for some time. The DI had a heyday, so to speak, and at that time it must have been rather heady to be involved. That would mean he would naturally view the DI as friendly and perceive that they are in this together. That’s just human nature, in my opinion, and would explain why something that seems perfectly obvious to me, that the DI is now damaging his career, would not be obvious to him. But I’m just speculating.

Date: 2007/12/06 14:21:47, Link
Author: dheddle
I have to say, the Kwok review is pretty crappy, reading more like an editorial. And I would have to agree with Dembski that you don't get a good feeling that Kwok actually read the book, given the paucity of specificity in his review. Having been on the receiving side of an Amazon reviewer who obviously didn't read my book (but who, to his credit, later withdrew it, and we became internet friends of a sort) I can sympathize.

Date: 2007/12/06 14:37:08, Link
Author: dheddle
ERV and JDog,

I understand the history--but surely you are not saying that a reasonable response is to play the same game? People were praising Kwok's writing--if that's the case then how much more valuable if he had read the book carefully and then wrote a legitimate review.

Date: 2007/12/06 14:42:25, Link
Author: dheddle
ERV,

Before you attack me you should know that I have been banned by Dembski twice on two different venues! Why, the "banned" battle campaign patch displayed around here isn't fit to be sewn on my fatigues!

Date: 2007/12/06 14:55:26, Link
Author: dheddle
J-Dog,

The second banning was actually from UD. The first was from an ID listserve whose name cannot be mentioned. If you are really interested in that sordid story, I wrote about it here.

Date: 2007/12/06 21:30:03, Link
Author: dheddle
ERV,

Quote
You may very well be a nice normal chap, but as of now, I only know you as the guy that left a comment on my blog dripping with coy, fake indignation.  So I shall continue to not like you much until you win me back, and you are more than welcome not to like me as well.


Fake indignation? May it never be. Coy? That's not my style.

Date: 2007/12/06 21:50:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Although Peter Irons said the exact same thing I did in a post I had on The Design of Life, namely that it is a vanity publication, I would say his review is even worse than Kwok's. I look foward to some evolutionary biologists actually reading the book and penning a proper stone-cold, substantive review.

Geez Louise. Sometimes I forget how the ID wars have turned us into Bizarro Earth.

Date: 2007/12/07 06:05:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 06 2007,22:23)
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 06 2007,21:50)
Although Peter Irons said the exact same thing I did in a post I had on The Design of Life, namely that it is a vanity publication, I would say his review is even worse than Kwok's. I look foward to some evolutionary biologists actually reading the book and penning a proper stone-cold, substantive review.

Well, its 'Pandas and People Part II'.  Its the 'same' damn book with a different cover and two different 'authors'.  There is going to be nothing in that book we havent seen over and over and over and over and some retarded Christian is going to see those GLOWING reviews and say "HEY! This should be part of OUR curriculum!" and then we get another DOVER..

Do you now understand Kwoks review?  Do you understand why bringing up Dover and high schools is important?  Do you see why Dembski spasmed at Kowks review?  Do you even undertand that reading another ID book on the same damn shit is pointless?

Whats the revelation?  Whats the new idea in 'Design' that none of us have seen before?  We could all recite chapters of 'Design' right now, without ever reading a damn page.

"Aw, but usa hav ta read it frst r els u cant lev an AMAZON review."

Whatever.

Do you understand it is not professional to leave a review of a book you haven’t read? Do you understand that because Dembski has done it, it doesn’t justify returning the favor? Do you understand that such transparent efforts serve no function other than preaching to the choir? Do you understand that to someone trying to be objective (as I try to be) the Kwok and Irons “reviews” are as bad and as useless as reviews from DI staff? Do you understand why Wes Elsberry is not doing it, but patiently waiting for a copy? Do you understand how a more useful approach would be to post about how FTE is not following normal practices when it comes to providing review copies?

Date: 2007/12/07 08:33:56, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 07 2007,08:03)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 07 2007,06:05)
Do you understand it is not professional to leave a review of a book you haven’t read? Do you understand that because Dembski has done it, it doesn’t justify returning the favor? Do you understand that such transparent efforts serve no function other than preaching to the choir? Do you understand that to someone trying to be objective (as I try to be) the Kwok and Irons “reviews” are as bad and as useless as reviews from DI staff? Do you understand why Wes Elsberry is not doing it, but patiently waiting for a copy? Do you understand how a more useful approach would be to post about how FTE is not following normal practices when it comes to providing review copies?

If thats the 'best' youve got, Im going to continue not liking you.  Youre nitpicking on a completely irrelevant point and proclaiming its a damning argument.

"Iz nut perfessionle."

Cause Kwok is a professional book reviewer hired by the New York Times.  Cause Amazon.com is where the 'hard hitters' in literature and musical review post their opinions.  Its important Kwok was totally 'professional', or else Amazon would take his review down.

There was nothing in Kwoks review that violated Amazons review policy even if he didnt read 'Design'.

And your plea to Wes is a non-argument.  Wes is well-known in the E/C arena, and it is very important for him to be 'professional'.  He's probably going to put it on PT as well, so it is important his review is 'professional'.  But Wes probably isnt going to write how I write either, because I dont write 'professionally' and had to alter my writing style significantly for my Behe review.  But you know what?  Even if Dembski says something stupid that tweaks Wes out and Wes writes an expletive filled tirade, Im not going to dismiss everything he says with "Wes iz unprefestional."  Ugh.

ERV,

I don’t even know you, so you can be quite certain that I don’t spend a microsecond worrying about whether or not you like me. As far as “Iz nut perfessionle,” well if that’s all you got I’d suggest that you develop a tactic more substantive that echoing a comment in pidgin English.

You will also note that I didn’t claim Kwok violated Amazon guidelines—whether he did or not is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. My point, back to the original comment, is that as a review what Kwok wrote was a piece of crap.

Now, I didn’t read your Behe review. But I don’t mind unprofessional language—I am assuming that if I did read your review I would come away thinking: she has clearly read the book and knows what she is talking about. If your language was salty, and if you tossed in a bunch of insults, that wouldn’t bother me at all. But there had to be some content beyond parroting the same-old, same-old party line.

Date: 2007/12/07 11:12:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Glen,

Sorry, that dog don’t bite. I entered in this fray thusly: ptaylor posted the review in its entirety, the first and only time I had seen it, here.  I then commented on Kwok’s review a few posts later, here.  I don’t see how that can be construed as misdirection. There may have been a parallel discussion about the removal of the review, but that didn’t interest me—since such shenanigans from WD are so frequent that I now find them to be a bit boring. I think any reasonable person would say that it was appropriate to comment on Kwok’s review after ptaylor posted it.

 
Quote
Were any of us saying that it was all right if he wrote the review without reading it?  Well, where is that, Heddle?
 

You could challenge me in that manner if I had actually made such a claim—that someone at AtBC was justifying Kwok’s behavior. But in my first post I didn’t criticize anyone for claiming that it was OK for Kwok to review a book he hadn’t read. My post had nothing to do with that subject thread—it was merely a post stating that the review was bad and that I agreed with Dembski that it appeared Kwok hadn’t read the book. The discussion about whether or not "we" should be above such tactics came later, and I certainly was not alone in suggesting that we--or rather any reviewer, should be. In fact, I think it was a rare case where I was aligned with the majority position.

 
Quote
Maybe no one should do what Kwok is alleged to have done--which was never the issue until Heddle decided to twist the matter around to faulting our side instead of the IDists.


Is that how you read it? Man, I don’t get it. I faulted Kwok, not "your side." I posted, after reading it on here, that his review is crap. Are you saying that AtBC should have a policy of never criticizing a friend of the court? Where did I fault your side? Truly, your criticism in this case is not comprehendible.

Steve Story,
 
Quote
Dave Heddle, overreact to a small flaw of ours? Trying to magnify it to be equivalent to the misbehaviors of the IDers? I can hardly imagine that. Whoever heard of the like?

You should read the thread. If Kwok is one of “ours” (yours) and merely stating that his review is a piece of crap is nitpicking, then I guess I am guilty. I would stand by the point that Kwok writing such a review is indeed as bad as Dembski doing the same thing, no magnification necessary.

Date: 2007/12/07 12:31:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Wes,

If Kwok says he read the book I would take him at his word. His review, however, would be just as bad, because a review should give the clear impression that the reviewer has actually read the book.

Glen,

You may have the last word, as far as I am concerned. No more reply from me. Much as it is fun being the center of attention, this thread (in my mind at least) has long since reached the point of diminishing returns. Having not read your response, I'll nevertheless review it favorably and concede that you have demolished all my arguments with extreme prejudice.

Edit: typo fix

Date: 2007/12/07 15:16:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Even in UD-land I find the fact of Dembski renewing his challenge to debate Barbara Forrest sort of beyond the pale. Given all that has transpired, for him essentially to call her a sissy is—unfriggin’ believable.

Date: 2007/12/07 15:57:25, Link
Author: dheddle
ERV,

OK I am going to post this gently—and with the peace offering that I really like your blog. But I want to ask a legitimate question. Based on your last post I went back and read the comments on Kwok’s review. Here is my question—and maybe others who know Kwok (J-Dog?) will also answer—is he (Kwok) being serious in his replies? Or is he just agitating for effect? Because if all that talk about litigation and famous alumnae from his famous high school is “real” – well then this dude is one strange motorscooter.

Date: 2007/12/07 16:46:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Just to make y'all green with envy, I'm off to a physics department faculty Christmas (or whatever it is called) party. And everyone knows, we physicists know how to par-tay. Why, after a few rounds of eggnog, the things we'll try to quantize! It will be scandalous.

Date: 2007/12/26 13:02:34, Link
Author: dheddle
Whoa, I missed this nice link last week from steve s, who wrote

 
Quote
David Heddle's so good when he's not being crazy.


Like Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof when the constable comments that he is a good man for a Jew, “rarely have I received such a compliment.”

Edit: it's the roof not a roof, pin-Heddle.

Date: 2007/12/31 13:03:33, Link
Author: dheddle
Of all the strange stuff that gets posted on UD, those "brites" photos are possibly the most jarring. They fail to make a point, and, unpardonably, they are not funny. The first time I saw one I dismissed it to someone posting while they were under the influence of 'ludes. But there have been too many repeat occurrences. Probably, like most of you, I try to see why someone posts or writes something, from their own perspective. By that method I am rarely surprised at something that most people write, once I know something about them. But the "brites" posts--I simply cannot temporarily reconfigure myself into a frame of mind where such posts make sense. You just can’t get there from here.

Date: 2007/12/31 15:31:26, Link
Author: dheddle
It appears that the latest "Brites" UD post, on industrial sabotage of stem cell research, the one that was generating embarrassment among the UD faithful, was constructed from some of those famous short half-life UD isotopes.

Date: 2008/01/03 07:06:47, Link
Author: dheddle
I have to say that I have always disagreed with the argument that atheism (or darwinism) leads to immorality, because I find such an argument unbiblical. The bible certainly teaches what we would call natural law, that all men have a moral compass. So in a way, just like you would say if you believe evolution is responsible for morality, it is not the lack of a moral compass that is the issue, but the willingness on the part of some to ignore it.

As far as this particular controversy goes, I would agree that it was an egregious example of quote-mining. I read PZ’s daughter’s post as an attempt at a nuanced approach and not as any sort of endorsement. At some level I agree with her—if the crime were truly victimless I wouldn’t care if it were not banned—because I see no call in the NT to make sin (and yes, from a Christian standpoint bestiality is certainly a sin) illegal—you are supposed to avoid sin regardless of whether or not it is a violation of civil laws. But given that the animal is a victim, let’s keep it illegal on that basis.

Furthermore, even if I was brought to a frothing rage by her post, to go after it even via a fair fisking would violate one of my taboos. Call me old fashioned, but even on the internet I think minors should be treated with kid gloves.

Date: 2008/01/03 07:25:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Mister DNA,

Right--it is not that she (or other minors) cannot defend their arguments skillfully--it's just that there is something yecch about arguing with a minor the same way as one argues with an adult. With no better line of demarcation, I simply use the imperfect age-eighteen threshold.

Date: 2008/01/08 13:57:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 08 2008,10:52)
Hubble and them Mars robots were value for money.

I hope they go for a manned trip to Mars in my lifetime, or perhaps the more ambitious

HEDDLE SPACE TELESCOPE

I don't know how to respond to that!

Well, since this is a political thread, I'll just say I ain't voting for nobody. And if anyone gives me that crap about "if you don't vote, then don't complain" I plan on kicking them in the shins.

Oh, and I do intend to complain.

Come to think of it, I wouldn't want an instrument named after me. If I could have anything named after me, it'd be an "anomaly." People who have anomalies named after them are 30% cooler than people who have effects named after them, and 22% cooler than people who have instruments named after them.

edit: anomalous correction.

Date: 2008/01/09 12:35:36, Link
Author: dheddle
DaveScot wrote:

   
Quote
Physics isn’t complete at the quantum scale and matter at the largest scales doesn’t act quite like we expect it should. There’s not enough of the visible stuff to hold galaxies and galaxy clusters together and at the far fringes of the observable universe we observe that the fabric of space isn’t just expanding according to the Hubble Constant but that the rate of expansion is itself accelerating which means the Hubble Constant might be more aptly called the Hubble Variable.



That is, he connects, if I read correctly, the time dependency of the Hubble constant to the advent of modern cosmology and the increased expansion rate of the universe. But it was accepted long before that that H was time dependent on cosmological time scales.

DS's comment is in another Sewell post. Now, I don't pretend to understand QM. I can solve problems with the equations, and I know how to interpret the results based on the Copenhagen interpretation, but at some level I am completely mystified. But it pains me to watch others pontificate on the philosophical aspects of QM. I cannot rule out that it is simple intellectual jealousy.

Sewell is wrong about the baseball--at least at some level--that is, when he states, as he does in the comments, that in QM there is at least a small probability for anything to happen--that is simply not true (I think). There has to be a Hamiltonian that connects the current state to the proposed state with a non-zero matrix element. If he means that in a real environment, there is some miniscule but nonzero probability that the air molecules will conspire to line up in front of the ball and stop it, and underneath it to hold it up, I suppose he is technically correct.

Date: 2008/01/10 12:15:22, Link
Author: dheddle
I have a question about the oft-quoted positive correlation between crime and a state’s (meaning a U.S. state) percentage of citizenry that affirms Christianity. Isn’t it fair to say that the jury is out on that? What I mean is this. One of the goals of the so-called new atheism is to make it acceptable for an atheist to come out of the closet. And I think a corollary is that it is anticipated that the number of in-the-closet atheists is not insignificant. This is laudable, and a win-win. I certainly don’t want an uninterested atheist sitting next to me in the pews ruefully pretending from peer, family, or societal pressure to be a Christian. Perhaps this pressure to deny one’s atheism is higher in those southern states, effectively skewing any data attempting to correlate anything to an affirmation of Christianity. Is it possible that we will have to wait for the ultimate success of new atheism, when almost all atheists are proud to proclaim their position, before we can have confidence in such correlations? (Which could, in principle, change in either direction from current estimates.)

Date: 2008/01/10 13:09:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Mr. Christopher,

It is not really sarcasm but not really serious, something in between.

I don’t wish to start a flame war, but I think it is clear what I mean by “new atheism.” It is not meant as a pejorative, only to describe the trend in the last decade or so for atheists to demand , more vocally, their rights and fair treatment. Even if the term has no official standing, that’s what I take it to mean. Usage is king, and if most people take “new atheism” to mean some amorphous group of outspoken atheists fighting for their rights, well that’s what it means.  And maybe I am wrong that one of the goals of present-day atheists is to make it safe for atheists to come out of the closet, but I don’t think I’m wrong.

As to the question I presented, what I would actually expect, gut instinct wise, is no change. However (to speak to Wesley's point) I limited it to states in the US, because it does seem clear to me that there are too many substantive differences in wealth, education, demographics, and traditions between many secular countries (say, Japan) and many theistic countries (say, Iran) to attribute any differences to theism, or solely to theism.

The bottom line is that while I am only semi-serious it is true, as we all know, that arguing from correlation is fraught with peril. You must have a handle on all variables before you can make definitive statements. For example, maybe (I have no idea if it is true) theists in the south are on the average more impoverished, and the increase in crime is due in part to poverty.

EDIT: some but not all typos

Date: 2008/01/16 12:14:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote
Q: How are the funds for the donations being provided?

A: Being that this film is viewed as history changing,


That seems like an unexpected admission. It reminds me of something I saw on a bulletin board at my university: "Attention Students: Revised History Schedule." You have to admire the honesty.

(Sorry if someone else already pointed that out.)

Date: 2008/01/17 10:08:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (hooligans @ Jan. 17 2008,09:42)
Censorship! Censorship! All of Shoghi's insightful comments related to frontloading and the development of predictions in ID have done gone and been dissapeared.

I was personally offended that his experiment related to spider propagation in a novel environment was considered beneath those at UD. Holy crap, they will allow comments related to forcefields around DNA!! Please!!! I mean come on, a middle school student who gets censored for expressing ID views at UD. This has got to be brought to the attention of the Expelled Producers.

Yes they censor, but that's not the worst of it! They have destroyed a crucial piece of evidence for their own cause. This is complicated stuff, so try to stay with me. Earlier on this thread, olegt reported on the mathematical ID discovery that the golden ratio passes the Turing test, the EF test, and lands on a singularity on a plot of CSI vs. All Irrational Numbers. That almost rescued me from the dark side, but what really allowed me to finally see the error of my ways was an easily missed nugget from olegt's post, right at the top, when he told us where to find the comment on UD:

 
Quote
Atom at 137


Someone named Atom posting at UD comment 137. As everyone knows, 137 is a magic number. It is almost exactly one over the fine structure constant (the slight deviation is a result of the fall.)

I was hooked!

But then---censorship, and now Atom's comment  has dropped to the boring number 133. The universe no longer makes sense.

Date: 2008/01/23 09:20:01, Link
Author: dheddle
I once worked for a company where we submitted a proposal to the US Army. The proposal of course had a "quals" section that included the resumes of key personnel. One of our key personnel had a degree in Systems Engineering from West Point.

Alas, the reviewers were mostly West Point grads. And they informed us that West Point does not offer that degree.

Bummer. We didn't win. Egg on the face. And the guy got fired. I guess if you are going to pad your resume, at least make sure it would survive a cursory review.

Date: 2008/01/23 17:11:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Arggh. One draconian law I would support is you can't discuss QM unless you have a Ph.D. in physics. And you can't discuss free will and QM ever. It should be the unpardonable sin. Maybe it is.

Date: 2008/02/14 13:04:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Man, I stayed away for a month, and the first things I see when I come back is WAD attacking Dawkins for being avaricious.

The descent into madness continues. I'm going back to work on my telescope.

Date: 2008/02/14 15:15:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Ken Miller is coming to our campus (Christopher Newport University) on March 18 (I don't know the time yet.) to discuss what you would expect-- the reconciliation of science and faith. Anyone close to Newport News, VA who would like to attend, let me know and I'll buy you a beer. But only if it is a good reactionary beer, like Coors or Iron City. Ix-nay on those girly euro-beers.

EDIT  UPDATE: The talk is 7pm, March 18, in the Ferguson Theatre and Music Hall on the campus of Christopher Newport University.

Date: 2008/02/20 14:56:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 20 2008,13:18)
Wonderful, sparc!  Allen MacNeill's performance is reminiscent of today's xkcd


It should be easy to adjust, but I can't be arsed right now.

Bob

Just remember that the creator of xkcd had a superior physics education.

Date: 2008/02/20 20:11:44, Link
Author: dheddle
GCT,

I don’t really give a rat’s ass what you think about me but I am curious where I said or wrote, as you claim:

1) how science leans towards ID (I ask because I don’t even know what that means, so I am surprised that I have made such a claim.)

2) [my]  brand of ID, while being falsifiable, etc. is not supported by science when pressed although he claims that it is in his next wink, wink, nudge, nudge moment

I believe what I said/wrote about cosmological ID (about a gazillion times, and quite consistently over the last—say—four years) is that it is not falsifiable in the official Popperian since (as it makes no positive predictions) but it is falsifiable in a practical sense (which is what most scientists use, i.e., a stink test)—namely that if its competitor was verified (another universe was detected) then I for one would immediately stop talking about cosmological fine-tuning. Additionally I have said (on numerous occasions, probably over the past two years) that at the moment the advantage goes to the multiverse theories, because they predict that the  constants should look like a random draw—which they do. I have said that Cosmological ID would be strengthened (as a metaphysical position) if we uncovered a fundamental theory that predicted the values of the constants. (That is, I argue the exact opposite of the IDers, who make arguments based on low probability, and instead claim that the best ID argument is the unit probability universe.)

     
Quote
Heddle is just as slippery as those other guys when it comes to pinning him down to any one thing, and he doublespeaks with the best of them.


What exactly can you not pin me down on?—I challenge you to ask me one question related to cosmological ID or religion that I won’t give you a definitive answer. I may be delusional, but evasive I am not.

You, on the other hand, have argued quite bizarrely, I believe even on this discussion board, that fine tuning is irrelevant because no matter how sensitive, say, the process of nuclear synthesis is to the values of the physical constants. Why? Because, your argument goes, if the physical constant must be between c and c + dc it doesn’t matter how small dc is because again, your argument goes, there are an infinite number of real numbers in the finite range dc, no matter how small dc is.

In other word, you are full o' crap.

Date: 2008/02/20 22:21:37, Link
Author: dheddle
GCT,

   
Quote
1)  Your advocacy of teaching ID in classrooms, although you swear that you don't advocate it.  Like, when you've bragged about how you discussed it in your classroom, but then claimed you don't advocate it.  That still stinks in my mind.

2)  Your talk that you give to churches, where you present scientific evidence that supposedly supports your idea of god creating the cosmos.  Yet, how does that square with what you wrote above?  It doesn't.

3)  Your insistence that atheists hate god, and then the way you backed off from it when confronted only to claim that Xians claims atheists hate god, etc. etc. etc.


Oh, the pinning down is quite easy:

1) I have repeatedly said that ID does not belong in the science curriculum and should never be taught as science and that it is in fact not science but Christian apologetics.

2) And I have repeatedly said the ID discussions are fine, and that rabbit trail discussions make classes (including science classes) interesting, and that the most boring science classes in the world are pure science-only science classes.

So what exactly are you claiming? Have I ever advocated teaching ID as science? No. Have I ever argued that it should be part of a science curriculum? No. Have I stated that it is a reasonable topic that might come up, rabbit-trail like? Yes I did. Furthermore, Dover did not render the mere discussion of ID illegal. Did I use to offer an optional cosmological ID lecture in my classes? Yes I did, and it was very popular among believers  and unbelievers. (I won’t by the way, offer it anymore now that I have returned to the university—times have indeed changed.)

If you can’t see that my saying, definitively and repeatedly, that  ID must not be taught as science and yet it can be discussed as a metaphysical viewpoint as “not being pinned down,” that is, if you can’t see the distinction, then I don’t know what to say.

Regarding my talk I give to churches—here is the most recent iteration, which was actually given at a public high school:

http://fbyg.org/ID/Nashua_High_2006_No_Backup.pdf

You will note that it presents the fine-tuning evidence and three possible explanations—luck, multiverse, and design. Of course as a theist, given that there is as of yet no experimental evidence that other universes exist, I favor the design interpretation. Shocking; film at 11.  Nevertheless, I think a reasonable person would say that the presentation was balanced.

On my insistence that atheists hate God. What does that have to do with not being able to be pinned down? Isn’t taking a controversial stand sort of antithetical to not being pinned down?  (You also know that I clarified that—admitting I was sloppy in not pointing out that hate doesn’t mean viscerally hate, but means, biblically speaking, the absence of worship—or maybe you mean that an admission that one’s choice of words was clumsy means said person can’t be pinned down—in which case I’m in good company with a lot of people who, on occasion, are not as clear as they could have been.) Or take what you said as factual, that I didn't clarify but backed down--Is admitting error the equivalent of "not being able to be pinned down?" If so, the you got me.

Quote
Why How would finding an alternate universe falsify Heddle ID?  Of course, you will come back with your stock answer that doesn't really make sense (I forget what it is right now, but I remember it spawning multiple people to say that it didn't make sense).

I have said many times how finding another universe would falsify (in the non-Popperian sense I described earlier) CID for me. If there are many universes each with different constants, then from a pure Occam’s razor argument or from an anthropic argument that’s a simpler explanation for the habitability of our universe than cosmological ID. That’s it. That is how (for the nth time) it would falsify it for me. Plain and simple. What doesn’t make sense about that? All you really mean is that you don’t believe I’d actually abandon CID, but you cannot rationally claim that I never said how it (multiple universes) would falsify it for me.

   
Quote
Why do you claim that a unified theory would strengthen ID?


Because that would falsify at least some multiverse theories (such as the superstring landscape), which claim there is no fundamental theory; that the constants are essentially from a random draw. If the constants popped out of a theory, given that habitability would still be sensitive to their values (that not being much in dispute), then to me it is a win-win—it falsifies some multiverse theories and it puts habitability smack dab in the fabric of spacetime. In my mind, that makes the ID case stronger. Have I not said this many times? About what aspect am I slippery? Where can you not pin me down?

   
Quote
Don't you realize that other ID regulars say the opposite, so it's looking more and more like ID can mean anything and explain anything we find, therefore it is worthless as an explanation for anything


Do I realize it (that they say the opposite)? Do I realize it? Did I not make the distinction myself in my  previous post?

   
Quote
F off Heddle.  You have no standing to call me full of crap.  The fact is that you criticize Dembski for some of the same crap that you yourself do, and hypocrisy is not pretty.  I also love how you get your craw all out of whack for Dawkins and PZ and go on your irrational benders just to attack them.  You've got some issues that you should work out, you know that?


I don’t know how to respond to that.

Date: 2008/02/20 22:39:12, Link
Author: dheddle
GCT,

By the way if you do examine the talk I give, take care to read the very last chart, entitled "Personal Opinions on the ID Movement" it has this bulleted list:

• ID is not science, so it does not belong in the science curriculum (no positive predictions)

• Despite its claims, ID really is about theism—virtually all   ID proponents are theists—so claims that it is “only about science” are disingenuous

• Methods are deceptive (Wedge document, Panda’s Text, ID has rigorous mathematical footing, Designer could be an alien, We never supported the Dover school board)

• Methods have backfired (ID hot potato, No ID rabbit-trail classroom discussions, scientists more antagonistic toward believers, boring “science only” science classes

• It’s divisive—preaches nonexistent conspiracy of secular scientists, drives some atheists away from mutual respect toward “religion is a form of child abuse” extremism

• It’s bad theology (and bad witness)—no biblical precedent for “ends justify the means.” The biblical mandate is: openly and honestly spread the gospel regardless of circumstances, not “change the circumstances” or “create a Christian nation.” Refuses to name God as designer—for the unthinkable reason of political expediency. Launched cottage industry (and cult-like followings)

Date: 2008/02/21 05:06:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

I hesitate to answer because I do not wish to defend CID again. If GCT had said: “Heddle is a moron with moronic ideas” then I would have let the comment slide—but he said that I am slippery, and I wondered where he got that idea. I would admit to the possibility that I’m a moron, but I don’t think I’m slippery.

But I’ll take a stab at what I perceive as your questions.

The indirect evidence for multiple universes is that various inflationary cosmologies that make the prediction of multiple universes do a darn good job at explaining the features of our universe. However, no prediction of a theory, even if it has made a hundred correct predictions, gets a free pass. Each must be tested and verified. There are many examples of perfectly wonderful and useful theories suddenly breaking down.  Classical E&M predicts many things correctly but, alas, it also predicts the instability of the atom.

As to why a unified theory (meaning a fundamental theory that predicts the constants) would point scientifically toward CID, it would not, since CID makes no prediction that there exists a fundamental theory. CID, as always, is a metaphysical (supernatural) explanation of an underlying mystery, to wit the mystery that a habitable universe is sensitive, in some cases extremely so, to the constants. In our present state of knowledge, with both sides acknowledging this sensitivity, we could say: 1) The multiverse proponents argue that we are just in one of the lucky universes and the constants look like a random draw because they are, and 2) The CIDers  argue that given there is no evidence that other universes exist, another explanation is that God picked the constants. The CID explanation is somewhat inelegant even from my perspective, in that it has God choosing the constants.

With a fundamental theory, the multiverse theories are in trouble, because now even if there are multiple universes they have the same constants—habitability can no longer be considered lucky. The CID argument strengthens its claim, both by comparison to a weakening multiverse explanation, and by making its own claim more elegant: God built habitability into the laws of the universe rather creating laws with free parameters and then choosing the free parameters.

However, CID would be on no firmer scientific ground. It would be no closer to being science.

As to whether something else could them come along and change the landscape again—sure that’s always possible.

Date: 2008/02/21 06:21:56, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Feb. 21 2008,01:19)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 20 2008,14:56)
Just remember that the creator of xkcd had a superior physics education.

Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) blogged on the centrifugal-vs-centripetal force "debate" in August of 2006.  Ten months later, the thread was still getting comments.

It is a religious debate of sorts, and gets into what is meant by "real," for my two cents I would say that Phil is wrong on this one, although I would agree that it is annoying to have to listen to It's centripetal, not centrifugal all the time. Still, inertial frames rule in my opinion. The Coriolis drift of a falling object, for example, is annoyingly complicated when computed  the with "fictitious" forces of the rotating observer, while the same effect is trivial Netwonian gravitation when computed by an observer in space--the object is released moving east with the earth rotation, as it falls and comes closer to pericenter it speeds up (as everything does)  and outraces the rotating earth and, viola, it "drifts" east.

Date: 2008/02/21 10:19:02, Link
Author: dheddle
Mr. Christopher,


     
Quote
Hey Heddle, the comments between you and GTC aren't clear (to me at least).  Do you in fact think atheists hate god or something close to that?  Just curious.

Argghhhh! Bad memories.

At some point (~six months ago?) I wrote atheists hate God. Everyone at AtBC, led by that firecracker Kristine, beat the crap out of me.

I think, to summarize, the source of the anger (directed at me) was that most atheists claim they cannot hate what they don't believe in--and they don't hate God, they generally  just don't think about him, and how dare I pretend I know their emotions?

Fair enough.

What I meant was that, in the bible, it says that all unregenerated men are in enmity with God. In this biblical sense they hate God since they are not wroshipping God--its described as hate (enmity) even if the atheist/unbeliever has no actual emotion one way or the other.

It was left like this: I apologized for bluntly stating "atheists hate God."

GCT is using this as an example of where I can't be pinned down. I don't see it as that at all. It is an example of speaking before thinking.

Date: 2008/02/21 10:59:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 21 2008,10:41)
Thanks.  I missed that exchange, and I'd hate to have Kristine kick my arse.  Well unless she was wearing something really hot when she did it.

So, I understand what you said...But I'm still curious if *you* think atheists hate god or their decision to reject religiosity is rooted in hate, anger or some other pathology.

Again, I'm simply curious.

Chris

Well, this will get booted to the BW (as it should) but the simple answer, from a Calvinist, is that we all are born in enmity to God (the Fall) and we cannot (as in we are inacapable) of choosing God. Only if God decides to change us will we want to have anything to do with him.

Date: 2008/02/21 12:45:41, Link
Author: dheddle
DaveScot wrote:

 
Quote
This is why I also find it amusing when practioners of science pretend to tell Dembski what science is and is not.


Chuckles must also arise when when highly trained musicians feign to know what music is. General guffawing must break out when oncologists claim they know about cancer.

Seriously, I don't know how a person could write such a statement without their nether-regions constricting to the point of no-return.

EDIT: because even though I knew what the missing word was, maybe you didn't.

Date: 2008/03/07 10:31:23, Link
Author: dheddle
Count me out of the glee over this one. This is simply a case, it seems to me, that you are delighted because something bad has happened to someone you don't like--the homeschooling families who tend to be religious. But this is just one more instance of the intervention of the omniscienct nanny state. And I suspect people who jump for joy when the state intervenes into the personal lives of citizens in "a good way" will be equally outraged if the state intervenes in a way that violates what they believe is a fundamental right.

I sent both my boys to public schools, but being devoutly religious I know probaby 50 or so families that homeschool their children. On average, in my experience, the home-scooled children are more prepared for college than the public school students, including in math and science. It is not unusual for a homeschooled kid to be doing calculus in about the ninth-grade age group. Yes, some (a surprising minority) will do the YEC/Bob-Jones science, but most use decent text books. (True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

As for the credentials, that is a red herring. (This is, as almost anyone should be willing to admit, a union issue.) And especially when it comes to math and science. In personal experience, and also professionally through educational outreach from the national lab where I do my research, I have come across too many credentialed teachers who are math phobic and science phobic (and, of course, some outstanding teachers, but as far as math science goes, that's the exception) . There is no way that it is manifestly obvious that forcibly placing all the homeschooled students into their local public schools will result in their receiving a better scince/math education. No way.

So jump for joy that the fundies took a big loss, but don't pretend the reasons are pedgogical, because you can't make that case beyond platitudes. Nasty evidence like scores on standarized tests say otherwise. Just be honest and admit that you are delighted that the nanny state (this time at least) stuck it to someone you despise--and don't worry too much about who they stick it to next time.

So no, I don't think this is good news at all.

Date: 2008/03/07 12:40:18, Link
Author: dheddle
J-Dog,

Quote
Yes I am delighted that the we, the people, stuck it to someone I despise!  It's called democracy.  If you don't like it, try a theocracy - I hear they have a nice one in Iran you might like.


My friend, I'm somewhat disappointed. I argue that ending homeschooling would not obviously, by a long shot, result in improved education for those students. That is perhaps debatable.  But you tell me that if I don't like it I should try living in the theocracy of Iran. That seems well below your argumentative standards, which I have come to see as, while often caustic, nevertheless almost universally clever and amusing. Go live in Iran? --- America, love it or leave it? Really, now.

P.S. I feel compelled to point out that I'm a Baptist, and we make a credible claim to having introduced to the western world the modern concept of separation of church and state. The last place I'd want to live in is a theocracy.

Mr. Christopher,

Understood.

Date: 2008/03/08 06:36:33, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard,

Quote
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.


Richard, I am not sure whether you are joking or not, but I'll answer as if you were serious and I'll answer anecdotally.

In my experience home-schooled kids socialize just fine. They are, I'm sure you know, not recluses. They get a lot of exposure to other kids either by extracurricular activities (you probably know, by virtue of the fact that their parents are still paying taxes, in most states they can be in the school orchestra, Latin club, etc.) They also tend to be part of home-schooled groups that organize group activities and, for the younger kids, playtimes. And finally they tend to be members of churches and church youth groups.

Are some of them weird? Yes indeed. Surely, however, we'd agree that a lot of kids in public school are weird.

I think it is a myth that they are social misfits.

Reciprocating Bill,

Quote
Vis the watered down content of the public presentation of biology, that has a long history nationwide, and surely occurred in response to creationist/fundamentalist pressures, and the desire on the part of school systems to avoid conflict since Scopes (which was a defeat for education, not a victory). The fact that fundamentalism/creationism has managed to impair science education and advance ignorance in both private and public venues is nothing to celebrate.


That’s a fair point. That science education among home-schoolers  being “as bad” as the public school science education is nothing to celebrate. But let’s separate two reasons why public school science education is bad.

1) Public schools, because of low pay, have trouble recruiting (in general—there are of course glorious exceptions) competent math and science teachers—who in most cases can earn twice as much or more in industry. This is a congenital defect. If you fix this problem then you will presumably fix it by improving public schools across the board, and at that time fewer parents will opt for home schooling.

2) The science curriculum is bad in the public schools, in part due to the influence of creationists in the community. This is the point you are making, I think. That if we did have a good biology curriculum in the public schools, then the public schools could leap ahead of the home schools. But I don’t think so—because what the state often does (and should do) is mandate that the homeschoolers pass a standardized test that is based on the state’s approved curriculum. If a hefty evolution content is added to the curriculum, then the homeschoolers would have to study that content and pass the test. One could say “yeah but their parents will be telling them just study this ‘crap’ to pass the test” and that would be true and besides the point. Parents have always been allowed to tell their kids what they think is crap. And it would also conveniently ignore the fact that a great deal of public schooling involves “studying for the (standardized) test.”

Date: 2008/03/10 10:39:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Erasmus, FCD

     
Quote
I went to a county [public] school that used to be rural but was feeling suburban growing pangs while I was there


     
Quote
And we always whupped those sissy private school kids.  On the court and in the mall parking lot.  Now some of them (same school even) are my colleagues and I don't see that either of us missed anything.  But we whupped them.


Now I went to an inner city public school. We not only "whupped" the private schools, we whupped the suburban public schools for good measure.

Well, OK, we would have whupped 'em, if we had cars to get out to the suburbs.

Come to think of it we did--we had a club ice hockey team on which I was a fourth-liner. (I only got on the ice when we made it to the 4th line without incurring a penalty--that is virtually never.) We always lost to the suburban kids--based on the scoreboard, that is. Heh.

But, joking aside, I had a superior math/physics education. Why? The city schools, not being able to adapt to trendy educational theories, were still trapped in the science scare of the 60's--that is, they never deemphasized math and science. I had two years of bio, two of physics, and math through Calculus, and we used (for math and physics) exactly the same books (Thomas for calc, Haliday and Resnick for Physics--although several editions earlier) that we used when I got to Carnegie Mellon.  Also, no competent young teacher in their right mind would choose to teach in the city, so we had this remnant of a bygone era--old-school no-nonsense types surviving until retirement but with the ethics to keep up the standards. Once they retired, I suspect things went to hell rather quickly.

Date: 2008/03/10 11:19:45, Link
Author: dheddle
I must say I truly didn’t understand this thread. How can miracles be a problem for God? By definition, if he exists he is supernatural and thus can act supernaturally. On what basis can one rationally argue that they (miracles) are some sort of admission of defeat? The only basis I see is to declare them to be unnecessary for any god worthy of the title, and then, ipso facto, their mere postulation demonstrates god’s ineptitude.

It seems rather a stacked deck, and a silly one at that. As any theist must, I assume that God supernaturally manipulated space-time to create the universe. If you don’t believe that, then I don’t know what would make you a theist—instead, at best, you’d be worshipping an advanced though thoroughly natural creature.

To me, once I accept that God can create the whole friggin’ universe (perhaps by setting the big bang in motion, or some precursor thereof), the classic miracles (circumventing the natural laws to impregnate a virgin, turn water to wine, or play games with time for Joshua’s military advantage) seem like child’s play. And the purpose was to further his plan of redemption—for which he is under no obligation to carry out at all let alone to be required to use only secondary (natural) means.
That said, I suspect you guys are sensing some deeper theological problem with miracles, one which, blissfully, I am too shallow to grasp.

And, by the way, JDog is absolutely correct when he wrote:
 
Quote
It's an effin miracle that so many people have believed in Big Sky JuJu for so damn long, with what is really no reason to at all.

As any good Calvinist knows, it is indeed a miracle that anyone believes.

Date: 2008/03/10 12:30:58, Link
Author: dheddle
Bob O'H:

 
Quote

Have you read Dembski's Jesus Tomb "paper"


Ugh. I couldn't finish reading. I hate any application of Bayes's theorem that is not perfectly straightforward. Otherwise you get into the lesser known WoodyHayes's theorem, which is that with care taken to be sufficiently pedantic, wordy, and vague in one’s assumptions, one can use Bayes's theorem to construct a passably sophisticated argument (about either or even both sides of a debate) that is impenetrable enough to convince the already convinced and to bore everyone else to death or submission. (*yawn*)

Date: 2008/03/12 06:50:06, Link
Author: dheddle
philbert,

       
Quote
How on earth does that (quite right) impulse [environmental concern]not then destroy your faith?

The wonders of cognitive dissonance, I guess. Just baffling.


It's not cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is when a person holds two views that they know are in tension or conflict--not when they hold two views that you think are in tension or conflict. (If that were the case, that others thinking your opinions are not self-consistent was the criterion, then everyone would be in a state of cognitive dissonance.) That fact that you think that that the slightest charitable impulse is a problem for Christianity (a position which in my opinion comes as close to being manifestly absurd as any I've heard in a while) does not make charitable work a thorny theological issue for me. I do not see one iota of theological problem when I have a charitable impulse. (The very thought makes the mind reel.) Ergo, no cognitive dissonance.

Date: 2008/03/12 10:24:15, Link
Author: dheddle
It always makes my day when those zany comedians at the Brites bless us with examples of their sophisticated humor.  These erudite, Jonathan Swift-ian caliber satires are a gift from the, um,  unknown genius whose nom de plume is Galapagos Finch—a name which in and of itself is clever to such an extent that it defies appropriate comment.

Date: 2008/03/12 13:54:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Philbert,

Because the question “why do bad things happen” has long been understood by theologians as adequately answered by a convolution of man’s free will, man’s corrupted nature, and God’s permissive (as opposed to decretive) will. (And, at rare times—say for the Egyptians of Moses’ time, as a result of God’s decretive will.)  That’s one answer. The other is: given that Jesus calls us to charity, and that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor, it simply boggles the mind that our positively responding to that charge would somehow be viewed as a theological problem.

Date: 2008/03/14 09:14:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Ian, you have, in my opinion, created a false dilemma rooted, again in my opinion,in  an incorrect assumption about the nature God. If by “omnibenevolent” you mean that God loves everyone--well the scripture is not there to support such a pleasant idea. “Jacob I loved,” we are told, “but Esau I hated.” Furthermore, God was manifestly unbenevolent  to the Egyptians and to the various races upon whom he instructed Joshua’s army to commit genocide. God, according to scripture in toto, does not love the people he sends to eternal damnation, he hates them.  You can argue if “hate” means what we mean by hate—but you cannot argue that it is a feeling attributed to God that is in contrast to love—even if it just the absence thereof.  In other words, when you wrote:
   
Quote
I fail to understand how a being that loves us would knowingly condemn us to eternal punnishment.

I would say—that’s good, because he does no such thing. The very concept is, in fact, unthinkable and would render the notion of love meaningless.

As for free will—the only problem that exists for Christian theology is the same one as exists for secular philosophy:  what the hell is it? No surprise, I like, at least to first order, the free will model proposed by the reformed theologians—that our will is free (no external forces, no puppet master) and yet self-determined—every single choice is determined by our desires—we choose to do exactly what we want to do most at any given instance. Thus God does not force us into decisions, but he can change our desires (a so-called new heart) which then will affect our decisions.

Date: 2008/03/14 09:31:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard,

That was hilarious. But can you do it with UML rather than a flow chart? C'mon man, this is the 21st century!

Date: 2008/03/15 17:03:45, Link
Author: dheddle
mitschlag

 
Quote
That's a wonderful god you have there.  An omnipotent being that creates sentient beings that it hates and condemns to eternal torment.

I admire you for being so intelligent, yet believing such juvenile sadistic claptrap.


So, if God sends beings he loves to hell, that is evil. And if he sends beings he hates to hell, that is also evil. A peculiar case, if you will, of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Date: 2008/03/17 11:06:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (CeilingCat @ Mar. 17 2008,02:54)
Uncommon Descent descends to quoting from a Moonie encylopedia!

In this article, Uncommon Descent brings our attention to an article by Jonathan Wells in the New World Encyclopedia.  If you follow the adventures of Jesus Christ, AKA Reverand Moon and his Moonies, "New World" will ring a bell.  And, since Jonathan Wells is a high ranking Moonie Clergyman, those bells will be ringing for a reason.

Sure enough, go to the article in question, click on "Menu/Main Page" and then "Vision" at the bottom of the page and Shazam!  There it is:
     
Quote

"The originator of this project is Sun Myung Moon. The philosophical and axiological foundations for the project derive from his life and teachings, especially as they are systematized in Unification Thought and other publicly available texts.

The worldview that informs this encyclopedia proceeds on the basis of universal values found in the life and teaching of Reverend Moon and in essence from all religious and spiritual traditions and in people of conscience, values drawn from original human purpose, and the purpose of creation."


That sharp intake of breath you heard was the entire faculty (minus one) at the Southwest Baptist Seminary and BBQ gasping at the new honors the Reverand Dr. Dr. Dembski has brought to them.

ALL SCIENCE SO FAR!

But wait, there's more! Look at Moon's entry on his own, private encyclopedia:

His Worshipfulness, the 2nd Coming Himself

A juicy part of the entry:

   
Quote
Most Unification believers understand Reverend Moon to be fulfilling the mission of the promised "Second Coming of Christ." Also, together with his wife Mrs. Hak Ja Han (Moon) (???, ???),believers understand them as the "True Parents" of all humankind. The latter ascription derives from the view that Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the first human beings to realize the "original ideal of creation," a responsibility originally given the first human ancestors, the biblical Adam and Eve.


For Christians, this is blasphemy of, well, biblical proportions. To plot the deltas between Moon and orthodox Christian theology and, say, Darwin and orthodox Christian theology would require a log scale.

EDIT: spelling--more than once, even.

Date: 2008/03/18 16:31:04, Link
Author: dheddle
I would say, if I understood you correctly, that they got it right. There is a force that accelerates the penny, but, as swbarnes2 points out, it is the decelerating force that deforms it. That force comes from the metal plate, and is equal but opposite to the force that the penny exerts when striking the plate. It is an "impulsive" force which is a name given to any force that is applied over a short time.

If the penny had speed v and mass m and was stopped by the plate in time dt (time in contact with the plate while slowing), then the force was mv/dt. This was the magnitude of force exerted by the penny on plate, and by the plate on the penny--although the directions were opposite.

As for gravity what you described as all wrong was in fact correct (again, as swbarnes2 points out.) Gravity does result with you pushing down on the ground with your weight. And you feel the ground pushing back with (in the simple case of standing on a horizontal surface and no other vertical forces) with exactly the same force (your weight) but in the opposite direction (up). If there is no ground to push up, you'll feel weightless (as you fall.)

Date: 2008/03/18 17:08:37, Link
Author: dheddle
The internal stresses in your body all occur in equal and opposite pairs (bone A on bone B, and bone B on bone A, etc.), which doesn’t mean they cannot cause injury (bone A might snap), but they cannot produce a net force on your body since they all add up to zero. If you push on a brick wall to the right it pushes back to the left. You generally won’t move because friction will (up to a point) produce another force on you, this one to the right, and you stay still. In that case, the total forces on you will be:

1) Gravity down.
2) Normal (the reaction from the ground) up.
3) The wall, pushing left, equal and opposite to the force you push against it.
4) Friction on your feet pushing right.

If you push hard enough, or (easier) if you do it on ice, the friction force will not be able to get large enough to counter act the wall pushing left, and you will indeed accelerate to the left.

Date: 2008/03/18 20:32:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Interestingly enough, Newton's 3rd Law is sometimes violated--when fields can contain momentum.

Here is a simple example:

http://books.google.com/books?i....I&hl=en

As a partial answer to J-Dog's question, Newton's 3rd would be respected for a Stein-WAD interaction, because ID, as a field, is clearly out of momentum.

Date: 2008/04/01 14:37:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Yeah I know I am late to the discussion but I had to say that I never saw an article so poorly written on tenure. It is clear that O'Leary knows nothing about the tenure process. And then Beckwith shows up with a flying 360 slam--and Sir Isaac counters with and offer to put DOL's accusation on firm statistical footing!

I'm sitting here proctoring a physics exam, trying not to smile like an idiot. This is vintage UD!

Oops, too late, some students are staring at me.

Date: 2008/04/07 18:51:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Is that true about Gonzalez? Grove City? If so, I am happy for him. Grove City is a very strong, very selective Christian school with--and this is rare for Christian schools--good science departments. People often wrote that Gonzalez would  have to end up at a place like Liberty--but I always knew that was impossible, as they demand affirmation of a Young Earth and he is an OEC. Grove City is a perfect place for him. Nice campus. I believe they have no tenure system.

Date: 2008/04/08 13:11:01, Link
Author: dheddle
Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist--so I know if I am allowed to reply.

Date: 2008/04/08 16:41:26, Link
Author: dheddle
OK then. I voted "occasionally," though if there was an "often" option I probably would have picked that. As a scientist and a Christian, I often get asked to talk about the science/faith boundary at churches and other venues. Typically a church will have an open forum--that is they will invite unbelievers. What happens--almost inevitably, is I take more grief from my fellow Christians. That is, when they find out that I am not a YEC they can be downright nasty. On the other hand, when atheists realize that I know my stuff and am not trying to convince them that ID is science, we generally have good dialog.

That is an oversimplification. Some of the Christians seem very pleased that someone is arguing that science and our faith do not have to be in tension. And that is always my goal--to reach that niche audience. I won't have any effect on atheists or YECs, but if I resonate with thinking Christians, I consider it time well spent.

Date: 2008/04/09 15:40:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Kristine
   
Quote
Boggy Creek 2 is only worth watching if you have the MST3000 version


Another reason why I like you, Kristine. Mystery Science Theater represents the apex of Western Civilization. (MST = 1/Wedge-Strategy)

There was one where a character in the 50's B scifi movie said "it's destiny" and one of the MST crew--I think  it was the bubble gum machine robot said: "He's a Calvinist!"

Gotta love such specialized jokes.

Date: 2008/04/09 16:12:33, Link
Author: dheddle
Once they were watching a scene in a movie or a short subject (those were so good: Personal Hygiene is Your Friend!) where there was a 50s nuclear white middle class family at dinner. Dad in a suit, mom in a dress. Roast beef, potatoes, glasses of milk. Jr in a crew cut. The teenage daughter sitting prim and proper. Then one of the crew did a ad-lib, for the daughter: "Daddy, I've started dating a Negro."

I tell you Jonathan Swift couldn't have done it any better.

OK, that's all from me--I could fill pages with "Oh, oh, oh, remember the one..."

Date: 2008/04/10 16:29:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Glen D,

Quote
Time has reported on Expelled, and PZ gets a mention, if not a very favorable one:


I’ve been withholding this comment, but that seems like the proper segue.

Just personal opinion here, but I do think, of all the interviews from Expelled that I have seen, PZ comes off the worst. It's strange--as always there is the evidence that his bulldog demeanor is an internet persona. However his soft-spoken, reasoned answers came off as ice-water-in-the-veins chilling. With that and some poor word choices he came across to me, intentionally or not, as the quintessentially dry, humorless and soulless scientist.

Date: 2008/04/11 13:55:51, Link
Author: dheddle
I don’t know Rich. I think David Bolinski's e-mail was ugly. He should not, I suspect, have used terms like “microcephalic” and “smarmy” He is now involved in serious litigation, not engaging in flame wars on Pharyngula. He should have maintained a professional demeanor.

Date: 2008/04/11 16:17:02, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Hermagoras @ April 11 2008,16:02)
Larry Fafarman is a tard    
Quote

I have heard a lot of rumors that Ben Stein is Jewish, and this settles it — he says that he’s Jewish.


Well now.

He forgot to add "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Bad Larry, bad!

Date: 2008/04/11 19:24:53, Link
Author: dheddle
When Ken Miller came to my university (I reported on it here, and if you don’t know my university you almost certainly know a recent graduate, not just from  CNU but our department. And yes, I'll keep milking his fame.)  Anyway, Miller mentioned Francis Collins was on some short lists for a Nobel Prize. I assume he knows what he is talking about—I can handicap the physics Nobels but am in no position to speculate on the others.

I just bring this up because DO'L refers to Collins as a "genuine lightweight."

Why, the mind reels.

EDIT: spelling (twice)

Date: 2008/04/12 07:14:24, Link
Author: dheddle
A Brites-level side-splitting call for more animations.

It's all science, 24/7.

Date: 2008/04/12 16:59:14, Link
Author: dheddle
C'mon guys, adjust the vertical gains on your Nixplanatory Filters.

Date: 2008/04/15 18:03:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Did anyone catch the vanishing UD post? (No, I'm not kidding.) It was a WAD byline, and it was Promise Media's response to the plagiarism charge. It was above DO'L s latest post--but now it is gone. Again, I'm not kidding.

Timeline added in edit: I saw it when I was in my university office around 5:30 (Eastern) and it was gone by 6:45 when I checked again from home.

Date: 2008/04/15 18:50:59, Link
Author: dheddle
It is back up at UD.

Date: 2008/04/22 10:40:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richard Simons @ April 21 2008,21:37)
 
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 21 2008,20:11)
And let's hope for his sake that if Grove City has a tenure process, they don't care whether their faculty publish or bring in grant money.

I think I recently read somewhere that Grove City does not provide tenure and hires on one year contracts, but I can't find it now. Perhaps someone here knows for sure?

GC (when I was considering applying there, about 3 years ago--but never completed the application) did not have tenure. However, I believe that they had more than one year contracts, depending on how long you were there, and Gonzalez will be an Associate Prof, so he may have a multiyear contract.

Grants are a problem at GC, because the do not want to take any government money. That means not getting grants is not a big problem--since by their own rules they make it difficult. However, I was told that there is a way around--you team up with another university. They get the grant, and then subcontract to you. The money is laundered.

The school is very selective--average SATs in the 13 hundreds if I recall correctly. And the sciences are taught rigorously. You do not have to affirm a YEC position.

I don't know all the Christian colleges, but of those I do know, I like Grove City the best.

Date: 2008/04/22 11:28:40, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (midwifetoad @ April 22 2008,11:08)
   
Quote
It may be interesting to hear from professors who teach science who HAVE been granted tenure, even while being known to express doubt that every event experienced by mortals is determined --- completely and solely by natural processes, in respect of which any superior expression of consciousness or will is foreclosed.


Maybe we could find a few among those who signed the DI statement. ;)

Heh-That would be me on all points. I have tenure (at a public university). I am known as a devout Christian. I firmly believe and have made it known that I think God intelligently designed the universe. And I signed the DI statement.

Date: 2008/04/22 11:45:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 22 2008,11:32)
 
Quote (dheddle @ April 22 2008,11:28)
And I signed the DI statement.

What was the wording, Dave?

I assume we are talking about their standard dissent:

Quote
We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.


which in a certain sense is a statement beyond dispute. That makes it both clever, in a way, and meaningless. Like the anti-abortion bumper statement: "Abortion stops a beating heart." It must be accepted as manifestly true, yet it still sends a message that conveys the holder's position.

People ask me about having signed that all the time. I'm of the school: I did it, so be it. I signed maybe four or five years ago, when it was the DI 300. I knew nothing of the shenanigans of the DI movement. I was contacted, did a little investigating, and thought: here's a group that thinks like I do, that faith and science can live together, so I signed.

Date: 2008/04/22 12:02:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard,

I recognized it as a meaningless strawman in exactly the way you suggested. I simply wanted to be part of that group--I admired them at that point. I would not have signed a blatantly scientifically incorrect statement, but I succumbed to signing  what I recognized as a between-the-lines political statement. I was, I am embarrassed to admit, flattered to be asked. Mea Culpa. By leaps and bounds it is not the worst thing I have ever done.

Date: 2008/04/22 12:28:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (charlie d @ April 22 2008,12:21)
David:
if you regret having signed the statement, in retrospect, and wish that your name were not associated with it anymore, you can just ask them to take it off.  They have done it for a few other people who did.  

It's not like circumcision, you can take it back (well, there are ways to go back on circumcision, but I don't encourage anyone to find out how they work, and especially look at the gruesome pics).

I have thought about that and may do it--but I have to fight the "you made your bed now sleep in it" lesson that my father drilled into me. Or, they may decide to drop my name.

Edit: typo

Date: 2008/04/22 12:49:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ April 22 2008,12:40)
Come on Heddle!  Do it!  It might make a great story too!

"I Escaped The Clutches of The D.I!"
My Saga About My Sin - And My Redemption

Maybe a movie?

I can only say that when I ponder the possibility I am genuinely conflicted. At the same time, I don’t think about it very much. I don’t consider it to be very important. If I ever asked them to remove my name, I would do it quietly, and would only blog about it if they refused. It would be an admission of my mistake, not their mistake, and I wouldn’t use it for blog fodder.

Date: 2008/04/25 13:05:58, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ April 25 2008,12:28)

I don't care for Vegas. It's obnoxious. Meeting at Waterloo, Belgium would be appropriate, but too expensive. Meeting at Dover, Pennsylvania would be appropriate too, except that it's in rural Pennsylvania and who wants to go there?

You could meet in Dover Delaware, instead. A symbolic link to the big event, and plus there is a great NASCAR track the--the Monster Mile.

http://www.doverspeedway.com/

Date: 2008/05/05 11:28:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 05 2008,11:01)
And a big cyber high-five for DaveTard Scott!!

I’ve been in and out a bit so this has probably been addressed, but If Dave bans himself and disappears all his own comments, will people he disappeared return, like the photo in Back to the Future? (Or Family Guy, for the current generation who have seen more animated parodies of movies than movies.)

I am somehow reminded of the end of Primal Fear when (from memory here) Richard Gere says to the gloating psychopathic killer Edward Norton, who faked schizophrenia, “So there never was a Roy?” (Roy being the murderous personality that came out in court leading to a finding of insanity) to which Norton trumps him with “Maybe there never was an Aaron!” referring to the meek, nice, abused guy who was supposedly the “real” personality.

Date: 2008/05/06 08:51:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 04 2008,17:50)
       
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 23 2008,16:02)
           
Quote (didymos @ April 23 2008,15:37)
OK, I'm tenatively calling bullshit on something, but don't know if it really is.  The next-to-latest DI "blog" posting claims that Guillermo Gonzales invented the concept of the Galactic Habitable Zone, as part of their ongoing "he wuz teh ekspelldz.  He can haz tenur?" campaign. As far as I know, he's just a proponent, and maybe introduced the term, as best I can tell, right?

This 2006 Paper On the “Galactic Habitable Zone” by Nikos Prantzos (.pdf) has these references:

             
Quote
9. Gonzalez, G. (1997), MNRAS, 285:403-412
10. Gonzalez, G. (2005), Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 35:555-606
11. Gonzalez, G., Brownlee, D., Ward, P. (2001), Icarus, 152: 185-200


That should get you started looking...


Dr. Phil Plait of BadAstronomy has a weekly live video chat and I JanieBelle asked what he thought of Gonzalez' "Galactic Habitable Zone" and Prantzos' 2006 challenge of it.  (I had previously emailed him links to the papers in question.)

"Destroyed" is his word of choice.

He also was very explicit that he sees no problem at all with denying tenure to Gonzalez based solely on his creationism.

Rough quote to the best of my memory:

         
Quote (Dr. Phil Plait @ about an hour ago)
If you think the universe is 6000 years old, you shouldn't be teaching science.


Amen.

So let's review the Iowa State tenure decision:

Creationist.
No appreciable funding in the form of grants.
Little in the way of publications.
No grads.
and now Sole claim to scientific "fame" debunked within a very few years.

Any questions?

Edited for a format issue.

After a  first (quick) reading of the Prantzos paper it looks to me like a legitimate response to some aspects of Gonzalez's GHZ. Specifically it calls into question Gonzalez's assumptions about the metalicity-planet correlation. As for the danger of supernovea, the case it makes is itself based on what appear  to be crude models (that's all that is available) and assumptions. It doesn't address (unless I missed it--I am in finals-grading hell week)  other aspects of the GHZ, such as orbit stability (our sun's orbit, that is) and other catastrophic events such as gamma ray bursts. In short, it is a fair criticism, but if Plait thinks this paper “destroyed” the GHZ, then he is dreaming. Now it might be that Plait is basing "destroyed" on this and other papers that I am not aware of--this is out of my field.

By the way--was this paper ever published?

Also, if Plait's comment about "you should not teach if think the universe is 6000 years old" is meant to apply to Gonzalez then he should be reminded that Gonzalez is not a YEC.


One more comment--none of this speaks poorly of Gonzalez. Even if this paper did destroy the GHZ, it would not be a knock on Gonzalez. It would only mean that Gonzalez made a proposal, published, and others began poking holes in it. That is science at its best and in no way shape or form damages Gonzalez.  Gonzalez, in my opinion, cannot ever be faulted for the GHZ. It was and as far as I know still is a legitimate scientific idea, regardless of whether it turns out to be wrong. It will always, always, stand as a far better example of scholarship than, say, Hector Avalos launching a no-risk petition drive. Gonzalez’s weakness (as far as tenure at ISU is concerned) never would have been whether the GHZ stood the test of time, most  scientific ideas don’t, but what did he do after the GHZ work, during the time he was tenure track at ISU.

Date: 2008/05/06 09:03:08, Link
Author: dheddle
A small footnote to my comment above.

Those who criticize the GHZ as if it were some sort of ID voodoism--and I refer primarily to the scientific savants who try to shoot it down with puddle analogies, almost give plausibility to ID Inc.’s persecution claims. Because the GHZ idea did pass peer review. It's as if some are saying—yeah but it "snuck through" because at the time we didn’t know Gonzalez was an IDist—if we did we would have worked hard to kill it.

Date: 2008/05/06 12:40:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Lou FCD,

   
Quote
I can't say I enjoyed being taken to task


Actually I wasn’t taking you to task (not intentionally.)  In truth I hadn’t read all the comments on this thread pertaining to Gonzalez and didn't know you wrote about papers "slipping through." I was referring to history—the last time I discussed Gonzalez on here (or maybe it was somewhere else, it's all a blur) there was quite a bit of the puddle analogy carbon-chauvinism type criticism of GHZ—and it simply doesn’t apply. Maybe it applies to the local, i.e., the Privileged Planet, but definitely not to the GHZ, which is an altogether different scale.

The GHZ really is a scientifically neutral claim, even if Gonzalez formulated it from a creationist world-view. (Cool how science done right works that way.) It is not outrageous at all—it simply is the proposition that most of the galaxy, primarily where the density of stars is high, is uninhabitable for complex life. That may indeed be the case.

Date: 2008/05/06 12:59:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Reciprocating Bill,

Not that I want to defend the PP (although I did enjoy it) but...

The Privileged Planet takes a rather weak ID position. Its proposition that habitability is correlated with observability is, in most cases, fairly sensible if not obvious. I’ll point out that the really strong ID argument would have been just the opposite: that habitability and observability are not correlated, and therefore the earth’s good platform for observability is miraculous. They actually argued for the preclusion of earth’s observability as a good example of the divine. Why is earth a good observatory for the universe? According to the PP you should not answer “because God wanted us to see not just our galaxy but the entire universe” but rather because habitability demands that we are in a low stellar-density region, and as a correlated bonus a low density region makes for a good observatory, for the same reason you put terrestrial observatories in out-of—the-way places.

There are more metaphysical parts of the PP that are strongly IDistic, but I have always thought the basic correlation they argued is actually slightly anti-ID.

EDIT: corrected eastern-european style by inserting a missing definite article. Because I have the privilege to do so.

Date: 2008/05/06 13:20:26, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Kristine,

I am giving a final as we speak. One student forgot a calculator. I gave him mine, but for amusement purposes only. It is an HP with RPN, and this generation can't use 'em! Oh, what fun--he is now searching desperately for the nonexistent equals button! I can actually see his blood pressure rising!!

J/K. I trundled back to the department and found him a silly algebraic calculator with the crutch of an equals button and those blasphemous parentheses buttons.

Date: 2008/05/06 14:07:50, Link
Author: dheddle
As long as I can get my Iron City from Pittsburgh, to hell with Europe! Let them drink Euros!

Date: 2008/05/07 16:58:40, Link
Author: dheddle
This is not quite as entertaining as a NASCAR race but definitely more fun than one of those Formula-1 pseudo-races. I can hardly believe that Dave has posted a FSM pic. It's time for a pool as to when crash and burn will occur--or is there already one up and running?

Date: 2008/05/07 18:35:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Rich,

Before this gets moved:

F1: girlie paddle shifters.
NASCAR: real shifters plus they still use carburetors! How cool is that?

F1: literally can go years without a pass for the lead on the track. To first order: starting grid = finish order.
NASCAR: typically ~20 passes for the lead every race. Often one ore more on the last lap.

Date: 2008/05/08 11:08:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ May 08 2008,09:59)
Even his new icon is dumb.  Not even as rough as Louis's old one.  Now that was edgy!

If you guys should ever hold an American Avatar Idol I would have to vote for J-Dog's. Although K.E.'s (before he became K.E..) was darn good too.

Date: 2008/05/08 11:30:24, Link
Author: dheddle
[quote=William Wallace]    
Quote (William Wallace @ May 08 2008,09:15)
But keep it up.  Christians listen to KKMS, and don't much frequent AtBC or other PT-mafia hangouts, but they do listen when Jeff mentions the behavior of evolanders on KKMS.


Hey, not true! The only place I hang out more that PT mafia sites is this site (that's jayski not dembski) .

I have a vague recollection that it was supposed to be a good thing to be friends with sinners--that someone set such a precedent...

Date: 2008/05/08 11:55:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ May 08 2008,11:49)
Sinners?

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha.

You have no idea.

Louis

All that matters is that you reach the level of tax collectors and/or harlots.

Date: 2008/05/08 12:08:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Kristine @ May 08 2008,11:53)
I reiterate my call for a collaboration on a "Waiting for Guffman"esque film about the ID movement. :)

(Although, how do we top Ray Comfort's "banana" demo or that peanut butter argument? Pixie sticks? Pez?)

I suggest Hostess Hoho's. Or, more accurately, H@H@s. After restrictor plates, they clearly are the seminal invention of the 20'th century.

(anyone following my posts today should be able to use their nixplanatory filter to prove that I'm supposed to be grading finals.)

Date: 2008/05/08 12:29:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 08 2008,12:26)
Breifly threadjacking as I see Dave is here.

If in your neo Luddite ways you prefer NASCAR over F1, then surely THIS is better than NASCAR?

Richard,

No, but it's better than soccer!

Date: 2008/05/08 13:13:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Technically WW is correct re. falling bodies, although I am not sure if the trap he plans to spring is General Relativity or relative acceleration.

Date: 2008/05/09 07:20:03, Link
Author: dheddle
The thing with Baylor... once again D O'L is demonstrating she knows nothing about academia. Now it may be that the faculty actually despises Lilley and that the tenure brouhaha, if there is one, ultimately leads to his departure. If so, she'll be right only in the “broken clock” sense. However it is more likely that a faculty senate resolution that "the prez was too tough on tenure candidates" is just ceremony.

I bet this happened: as always, and naturally, some faculty was upset when they or their colleague did not get tenure. A resolution was presented to the faculty senate condemning the decisions. In this case, it would be political suicide for a faculty senator to side with the administration over the faculty. If you were a good friend of the president but happened to be on the faculty senate, you would still vote for this resolution, because if not you would be tagged as an administration lackey. Even the president would want you to vote for it (given that it will surely pass), because otherwise you'd be useless from that point on.

You get the impression the team WAD believes that if Lilley is deposed, the allies will get to ride into Paris amidst cheering crowds.

EDIT: because at one point I wrote the opposite of what I intended, which is rarely a good thing.

Date: 2008/05/12 16:18:30, Link
Author: dheddle
I thought it a sublime, full-bodied analogy with just a hint of undergrowth--mushrooms perhaps. Or is it ginger?

GEM of TKI

Date: 2008/05/12 16:27:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard,

Almost all YECs affirm inerrancy. However, many often also mistakenly insist on inerrancy == literality.

Except, that is, when they don't.

Date: 2008/05/12 16:47:38, Link
Author: dheddle
stevestory

But Paula recently criticized both of an AI contestant's songs--even though he only sang one song. It was painful to watch. Hence:

DO'L:Collins::Abdul:Quality NYT Critic

p.s. that's enough alcohol, you are going to spoil your dinner.

Richard,

From my perspective or YECs? I certainly think there is a lot of allegory--YECs, less so.

But take something like Ezekiel's temple. That is alleged by the left-behinders (which have a high degree of overlap with YECs) to be the rebuilt temple (don't worry about that mosque in the way) in which Jesus will sit on the throne of David for 1000 years. Unfortunately Ezekiel also described animal sacrifices taking place in that temple, which generally Christians agree would be an abomination in the presence of Jesus. Hence the temple is taken literally, but the animal sacrifices, figuratively.

Date: 2008/05/12 16:57:12, Link
Author: dheddle
Nah, a good 'ole boy would take it before it made its second left turn.

EDIT: for stupidity

Date: 2008/05/14 05:24:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 14 2008,01:51)
I understand that Dawkins has an avid fan base- one might say a cult following.  I think first of all that it is incompetent to assert that science can provide evidence that gods don't exist. I do not think that any do exist, but that is not a scientific conclusion. Further, Dawkin's assertion that he is more honest than other scientists is both insulting and wrong.  Finally, there are many, many thousands of scientists who are active in some faith or other, which makes Dawkins simply wrong.


I have to say I am in agreement with Dr. GH here. Dawkins gets a ground-breaker’s credit for not caring about religious sensibilities—but in that he is hardly novel. I doubt that Dawkins could offend believers any more (*) than Gary or many other atheists that attack a) the dumb things (some) creationists say about science b) the political methods they employ and c) their dishonesty when it comes to the motivations of their actions.

In fact, Dawkins, as far as I can tell, breaks no ground in points a-c above—the points that are important to most scientists, me included, even though I’m a believer. And in fact he is somewhat more gentlemanly than most.

But Dawkins, looking for bigger fish, ventures elsewhere, into the metaphysical or the theological, and attacks the very  notion of God. Again he is not unique nor is he breaking down barriers. There have been intellectual atheists for generations. What he is, in this case, is not very skilled at what he attempts, but that (for this post) is irrelevant. Dawkins is ready to throw believing scientists under the bus, and to cast aspersions on the honesty of scientists who may agree with him on points a-c above, but who find it of no interest to challenge believers, in any more than a cocktail party sense, on the unscientific question of God’s existence. That seems to be the source of his enormous following.

----------------
(*) Which in fact is not much. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that Sunday sermons are now almost exclusively devoted to the question of fending off the atheist hordes.

Date: 2008/05/14 05:49:07, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (raguel @ May 14 2008,05:42)
dheddle: Frankly your indignation would carry more weight if you hadn't put your name on the "dissent from Darwinism" list, knowing full well it was a vacuous statement.

For my own part, I'm a recovering fundamentalist with a more nuanced view of god and religious beliefs (I never even heard of deism back then lol, but then I grew up in Florida :D ) I do remember thinking in college, "if God is not necessary for chemistry, then God isn't necessary for anything". I no longer believe it's that simple, but I think the efficacy of the scientific method vs. the abject failure of religion is telling.

I'm sorry, maybe because you are, by your own words, "more nuanced" you mistakenly detected indignation in my post when none was present nor intended. I'm not nuanced at all, so it is better to read my posts at face value.

Date: 2008/05/14 06:08:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (raguel @ May 14 2008,06:01)
Heh. I misread your post. My apologies

And what I meant wrt the nuanced comment, is that I have a different view of religion now than I did when I was a teenager. Basically I was brought up to believe that any religion other than Christianity was created/inspired by Satan, and any non-Baptist denomination was suspect.

Not that it has much to do with where this thread was actually heading. Well, the good news is I'm now 2 posts closer to an edit button.  :p


Cool. Understood.

(P.S. Well, not any non-Baptist denomination--but I do harbor suspicions about those rascally Methodists. One can never tell what they're really up to!

Oh, and the Congregationalists, don't get me started on the Congregationalists.)

Date: 2008/05/15 15:27:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Hey Richard Hughes,

On my blogs you left a comment: "NASCAR is for girls."

You said it like it was a bad thing. But the fact that about half the fans at a race are ladies is a good thing. The eye-candy is half the fun--to be appreciated in a wholesome Christian manner, of course.

Date: 2008/05/16 09:17:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Who is Stash? Has he ever posted on UD before?

Date: 2008/05/20 20:49:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Hey all you Brits, I am in Yorktown, VA.

You know--that place where you--well you know--you gave up. Surrendered. Cried "uncle." Had an upper lip that wasn't stiff. Sir Robin-ed. Decided not to show up for the deposition...

Date: 2008/05/22 08:55:16, Link
Author: dheddle
WAD:

 
Quote
Do many worlds present a business opportunity? Would it be possible, for a modest fee, for people to have worlds named after them? Are worlds, like genes, patentable?

Or am I just dreaming? Would it be fair to say that a science is not a science unless there is money to be made off of it? Darwinists and global warming people seem to have learned that lesson.



Sing along,

Doctor, Doctor, Mister Bill D,
you gotta bad case of mammon envy!






Date: 2008/05/24 05:56:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Anyone from here?

(p.s. Sorry if this came up before and I missed it.)

Date: 2008/05/26 09:59:37, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 26 2008,07:56)
Quote (Patashu @ May 25 2008,20:12)
   
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 25 2008,18:07)
There is an evolutionary version of the many worlds idea; It should be possible to spawn universes on purpose by manipulating quantum events (don't ask me how).  But the manipulation requires intelligence- ergo universes with an intelligence (or a few billions) are more often spawned.  So, it is more probable to find a "fine tuned" universe even if randomly selecting a universe. (Aside for the fact that we would not be here in an "untuned" universe, and that we are arguing from an N of 1).

The way I heard it was that:
1. presumption; universes which have black holes give birth to universes with slightly different laws of physics through these
2. therefore universes which have the right cosmological constant for making black holes should be the most common
3. observation; we live in a universe with the right cosmological constant for making black holes

Not neccesary a cincher but interesting.

Lee Smolin described this hypothesis in his essay "Darwinism All the Way Down" found in the edited volume Intelligent Thought (Vintage Books, 2006, edited by John Brockman).

Smolin's idea is interesting, but is rests on the the notion that the child universe has similar physics to the parent universe. I see only handwaving type arguments to support that idea.

Date: 2008/05/26 12:32:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (PTET @ May 26 2008,11:31)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 26 2008,10:31)
 
Quote (dheddle @ May 26 2008,10:59)
Smolin's idea is interesting, but is rests on the the notion that the child universe has similar physics to the parent universe. I see only handwaving type arguments to support that idea.

That's right. He more or less just asserts that it is so. His argument for why this should be the case (changes in the laws of physics represent phase transitions that occur only under special circumstances) doesn't speak at all to why the changes are likely to be small.

As I recall, unlike our ID friends, Smolin doesn't pretend that his conjecture is science...

I'm not so sure about that. I'm not an expert on Smolin's theory, but I think he has an rather unsatisfying  falsification claim that is something along the lines of "demonstrate that our universe is not optimal (or nearly optimal) for producing black holes and you'll have falsified cosmic evolution."

If I am remembering correctly, then I don't think that's any different from Gonzalez and Richards' falsification claim: find a planet with complex life that is not a good observation platform.

Date: 2008/05/26 13:45:39, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (didymos @ May 26 2008,13:35)

I think his idea is that the conditions necessary to optimally or near optimally produce black holes are the same as those necessary for life to exist, and if you can show they're not, then his idea fails.

Yes, I understand that--life, like black holes, requires a universe that produces stars.

What I don't like is the form of the falsification. It's like a dare. I dare you to show that the flagellum could have evolved. I dare you find a planet with complex life that is a lousy observatory. I dare you to show that our universe isn't nearly optimal at producing black holes.

I am used to falsification like this: do this experiment, and if I'm right you get result A. If you get anything else, I'm wrong.

Date: 2008/05/26 14:20:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (didymos @ May 26 2008,13:51)
Here's a copy of his paper on the proposal:
Scientific Alternatives to the Anthropic Principal

Yes that is the paper I remember reading some time back.

I never understood the falsification by a massive neutron star--since neutron stars already have a comparable upper mass limit (~3 solar masses) just based on conventional physics.

Scanning the paper reinforces my earlier complaint. There is nothing that inspires confidence that the theory really is falsifiable, in spite of what he says. Also, he seems to be basing his falsification, at least in part, on a comparison with anthropic reasoning. That is, if you change something that doesn't effect life but reduces black hole production you have falsified his theory. But falsification of his theory should not be tied, it seems to me, falsification of anthropic reasoning.

It just seems to me that he is hanging his coat on a shoogly nail, if you ken what I mean.

I would much rather see a unique prediction about some LHC experiment.

Of course, he's a whole lot smarter than I am, so maybe I'm missing the boat.

Date: 2008/06/13 20:21:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Why does the cover look like green buttocks?

Date: 2008/06/18 20:35:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (GCT @ June 18 2008,20:20)
AFAIK, Heddle has never said whether he actually accepts evolution or not.  I don't think he is a TE.

Well I think he is, and I'm wearing his underwear.

Date: 2008/06/19 08:04:28, Link
Author: dheddle
This is perhaps the only time I regret not being able to post on UD. Because, with my own ears, I have heard Miller say: "I am not a theistic evolutionist." I would like to see what the UDers have to say about that, since he is their TE bogeyman. They would have to turn on Collins, who is a much harder big-tent target.

Date: 2008/06/19 12:18:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Kristine @ June 19 2008,10:37)
Quote (dheddle @ June 19 2008,07:04)
This is perhaps the only time I regret not being able to post on UD. Because, with my own ears, I have heard Miller say: "I am not a theistic evolutionist." I would like to see what the UDers have to say about that, since he is their TE bogeyman. They would have to turn on Collins, who is a much harder big-tent target.

What does he say he is, then? Just curious.

Everyone asks me that, but I am sorry to say that when Miller made that statement, I didn't think to ask him. Bad heddle, bad!

Date: 2008/07/08 11:35:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 08 2008,11:25)

"feint of heart" in paragraph 3 should be "faint of heart", I think.

Grr. I always get that one (faint/feint) wrong. Thanks--I fixed it.

As for coming/comming -- I just chose the correct spelling, taking the incorrect spelling to be incidental.

Date: 2008/07/10 20:02:38, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (ERV @ July 10 2008,18:53)
 
Heddle-- We went over this shit with Kwok.  You are a fucking dick.

You put up the post. You allow comments. Some creepy dude who thinks you are Jodie Foster and he is John Hinckley spouts psychotic garbage and I (and then others) called him on it. You've got no case. Get over it.

Date: 2008/07/11 04:30:02, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (ERV @ July 10 2008,21:19)
 
Quote (dheddle @ July 10 2008,20:02)
   
Quote (ERV @ July 10 2008,18:53)
 
Heddle-- We went over this shit with Kwok.  You are a fucking dick.

You put up the post. You allow comments. Some creepy dude who thinks you are Jodie Foster and he is John Hinckley spouts psychotic garbage and I (and then others) called him on it. You've got no case. Get over it.

Heddle, you have never left a comment on my blog that actually contributed to discussion.  Never.  This blog, or the old one.  Youre just a dick.

John is an odd commenter on my blog and I can deal with it.

*You* posted on my blog for the sole purpose of being a little shit.  Those are the *only* times you post on my blog.  And now a previously fun, light hearted thread is full of shit.

Thanks.  Now fuck off.

Responding to another commenter is well within protocol. It happens all the time. If, out of the blue, I had commented—“you know that John Kwok guy, he’s a real whacko” then you’d have a point.

Gee, a thread in the comments went down a rabbit trail! (Going so far as talking about a review/reviewer of the book rather than the subject of the post, the book itself—why the disconnect is so large that “rabbit trail” hardly covers it.) Gee, the comments in your thread got a little messy! How terrible.

Stop being such a wimp.

Date: 2008/07/11 11:36:12, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

C'mon FTK. Even I can read between the lines better than that. Use your head.

Date: 2008/07/22 13:27:33, Link
Author: dheddle
DaveScot’s magical mushroom mystery tour brought back a fond memory. I went on a hike in the Massachusetts woods with Dennis Magee, the author of this tome.  (And, he added, apropos nothing--yet somehow apropos everything, a devout Christian and member of my church--well not my church, but you know what I mean.) If you must be lost in the woods, this is a guy you want to be with. He would suddenly stop, start digging, uncover some roots and shoots and say “here, try these, they’re delicious.” Eventually I even stopped waiting for him to try them first.

Edited to add a missing period.

Date: 2008/07/22 15:12:45, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 22 2008,13:42)
   
Quote (dheddle @ July 22 2008,13:27)
DaveScot’s magical mushroom mystery tour brought back a fond memory. I went on a hike in the Massachusetts woods with Dennis Magee, the author of this tome.  (And, he added, apropos nothing--yet somehow apropos everything, a devout Christian and member of my church--well not my church, but you know what I mean.) If you must be lost in the woods, this is a guy you want to be with. He would suddenly stop, start digging, uncover some roots and shoots and say “here, try these, they’re delicious.” Eventually I even stopped waiting for him to try them first.

Edited to add a missing period.

I'd just like to point out that my fundy friend bingo sheet is nearly complete. Dave was obviously a coup (let's do beers, Dave!) but now my architect is a Zoroastrian.

Nom nom non-denominational hug, everyone!


I like BINGO too, but this card is a loser!







Date: 2008/07/23 11:32:09, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

I'll jump in on lcd's side. These laws are for a nation that no longer exists, ancient Israel. It logically ceased to exist with the onset of Christ's public ministry (the Kingdom was, as it were, at hand) and literally ceased to exist in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and ransacked the temple. These laws do not apply to Christians--as is made most clear by the fact that Jesus broke or ignored his share.

As Christians, we are under Jesus' law (c.f., Matt. 5, the Sermon on the Mount) not under the civil laws for a nation of which we are not citizens.

Date: 2008/07/23 12:27:28, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (ppb @ July 23 2008,12:02)
 
Quote (dheddle @ July 23 2008,12:32)
I'll jump in on lcd's side. These laws are for a nation that no longer exists, ancient Israel. It logically ceased to exist with the onset of Christ's public ministry (the Kingdom was, as it were, at hand) and literally ceased to exist in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and ransacked the temple. These laws do not apply to Christians--as is made most clear by the fact that Jesus broke or ignored his share.

As Christians, we are under Jesus' law (c.f., Matt. 5, the Sermon on the Mount) not under the civil laws for a nation of which we are not citizens.

So, God used to be OK with killing drunken obnoxious kids but now is against it?  Did God change His mind?

It's more like situational ethics. For example, in pre-Christian Israel, it was commanded to make animal sacrifices as a sin atonement. We can safely assume that God viewed those activities, in those times, as lawful and moral. In our times, for Christians, animal sacrifices for sin atonement would be viewed as an abomination. Moral at one place and time, blasphemy at another place and time. Situational ethics.

As for the law against "sassing children" we can assume the children were guilty of far more than that--more like a life committed to debauchery. At least that's what I infer, primarily because the parents, not the state, are the prosecutors, as the passage notes. I would expect that Jewish parents, like parents anywhere, would take a whole lot of crap from their kids before turning them over to the elders for stoning.

The ancient law was a shadow of what was to come. Jesus' law is much more severe. You don't have to murder to get an eternal death sentence, you just have to hate someone or call your brother a fool.

Date: 2008/07/23 12:41:12, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ July 23 2008,12:33)
 
Quote (dheddle @ July 23 2008,12:27)
The ancient law was a shadow of what was to come. Jesus' law is much more severe. You don't have to murder to get an eternal death sentence, you just have to hate someone or call your brother a fool.

Well, that sucks, because I hate my brother.

Well, for Christians that's the point. The Jewish law could, at least in principle, be obeyed. With Jesus' law there is no possibility. Who doesn't hate someone? Who hasn't lusted? Who hasn't called his brother a fool? But, for Christians, that's the good news. The impossibility of us saving ourselves through obedience means that someone else has to save us.

Date: 2008/07/23 13:12:47, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ July 23 2008,12:59)
*snip*
All Heddle or any other Christian has is a subscription to (or invention of) a personal interpretation of what the sayings ascribed to Jesus mean. I can say, "Jesus said that a rich man can't get into heaven," or " Jesus said to give up your worldly possessions and follow him," and a Christian can tell me that I'm using the wrong interpretation.  As our old friend Lenny was so fond of saying, Heddle's (or any other theist's) interpretation is no better than that of Lenny's pizza delivery boy.  It's all pointless, and we should get back to the thread topic and make fun of Telic Tard.

I have no problem with that. I'm not the one who took us off-topic.

Date: 2008/07/23 17:19:41, Link
Author: dheddle
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (dvunkannon @ July 23 2008,16:12)

Sorry for continuing to hijack this thread, but the ability of Christians to misunderstand Judaism to justify their reading of their own texts always bugs the crap out of me - speaking as an ex-fundamentalist Christian and convert to Orthodox Judaism.

DHeddle - where in the Gospels do you see Jesus break any law? As you say, his positions (rhetorical, not legal) were much stricter than almost any other Jewish group, including Essenes. What happened to "not one jot or tittle (yod or seraph) of this Law will pass away"? Christian anti-nomianism starts with Paul, not Jesus.

If you want to talk about executing children for disobeying their parents, please do it in the context of the religious and legal tradition that knows WTF is being talked about.

He worked on the Sabbath. He encountered heretics and blasphemers and never demanded that they be put do death. This includes encountering perhaps the only people in history who have committed the unpardonable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. He did not sentence them to death. If you believe the story of the woman caught in adultery (it may not be canonical) he didn't call for her to be stoned. He mishandled lepers repeatedly in violation of the laws on cleanliness. Even his claim to forgive sins could be construed as a violation.

In the same passage as the "jot or tittle" Jesus does his "you have heard it said--but I say" bit. There we find the law that is not lost but made more difficult--not the routine civil laws, but the moral laws. He makes no mention of the civil laws. He does not say: "You have heard it said that if a woman having her period sits on furniture then it must be cleansed, but I say until you…" The intent of which law is not destroyed is obvious--it is the law that convicts us of sin, not the suddenly outdated statutes of a defunct state. Paul makes this clear in Romans.

It is not Christians who abuse the passage about the law not being abolished. In the context of which it was spoken, and in the manner in which Jesus raised the stakes, we understand quite clearly what law Jesus was talking about. No, it is people who want to make a cheap argument who abuse it--even though in context it is clear that Jesus did not refer to the minutia of the Mosaic law, they insist it applies precisely there, for then they can make superficial "how come you don't stone blasphemers--you are cherry picking" arguments. But the biblical text does not support that conclusion, and Jesus' actions and his words and those of Paul clarify what he meant.

Date: 2008/07/24 12:25:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Oh no, truckloads of Brites photos lab equipment will have to be moved back to campus.

Edited for typos.

Date: 2008/07/28 10:46:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 28 2008,10:03)
Are there any scientists left at UD?

I am reminded of a hilarious (I think by accident, not design) quote from JAD after a round of DaveScot banninations. He wrote something along the lines of "Is anyone still here?" It was just perfect. (I can't find it--Recip Bill?)

Even from UD's "pathologically predisposed to perceiving persecution" perspective Bob O'H's dismissal seems just about the least defensible bannination they have performed, at least in my recollection.

On a related but different topic, I think F2XL is a near perfect amalgam of arrogance and ignorance. He is now my favorite UD commenter. The boy was born for the job. His comment after Lilley's firing:

The douche had it coming

is UD at its finest.

Date: 2008/07/28 10:54:29, Link
Author: dheddle
Thanks RB--Upon a second reading I see JAD intended the comment. Go JAD.

Date: 2008/07/28 12:43:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (lcd @ July 28 2008,11:41)
I don't understand.

Mr. Heddle, am I correct in thinking you are a Creationist of some sort?  The correlation is that you believe in God and His Works and Word, correct?

Why does it seem as you not really welcomed at UD and other Creationist sites?  Yes, I will concede that ID and IC are Creationist ideas.  What I do wish for is more science from them to prove Darwin wrong and that God is indeed the First, and I might add, only Creator.

lcd,

It is because of irreconcilable differences over the ID-as-science meme.

BTW,

for his lyrical offering, I second Richard Hughes for POTW, in spite of his unspeakable lack of propriety in bashing the world's greatest sport.

Richard

 
Quote
Comment has gone...


Oh no...even the outside chance that I may have had something to do with that will torment my soul forever...

Date: 2008/07/28 13:29:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 28 2008,13:21)
This one can't be blamed on Darwin

Are you sure? I am rather more optimistic that this law of nature*:

Every group of note will be named by someone as culpable for any given heinous act.

will not be violated.

* OK, OK, it's only a theory.

Date: 2008/07/29 11:39:52, Link
Author: dheddle
For point of reference, most Protestants who affirm inerrancy do so along the lines of the Chicago statement.


Rich, you live in Chicago, right?

Date: 2008/07/29 12:26:31, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dvunkannon @ July 29 2008,12:12)
   
Quote (dheddle @ July 29 2008,12:39)
For point of reference, most Protestants who affirm inerrancy do so along the lines of the Chicago statement.


Rich, you live in Chicago, right?

By never defining the term Holy Scripture, it almost makes you forget what a debate there was over deciding what was scripture and what wasn't.  :p

Actually, if I understand you correctly, you may be surprised that several if not most of the signatories to the Chicago statement would affirm, in the words of one of them (John Gerstner)

   
Quote
The bible is a fallible collection of infallible books.


That is, I think, your point. They acknowledge that scripture is inspired, but (and this is what may surprise you) that our collection of what we take to be the canon of scripture is not.

The official Roman Catholic position is stronger, they would say the bible is an infallible collection of infallible books.

Date: 2008/07/29 12:56:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (blipey @ July 29 2008,12:37)
*snip*
Doesn't this make the policy of inerrancy a giant example of goalpost moving?

The word is inerrant, now let's argue about what the word is.

No, but that is beyond the scope of this thread. Or at least it is way too off-topic.

Date: 2008/07/29 14:01:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 29 2008,13:32)
     
Quote (dheddle @ July 29 2008,12:26)

Actually, if I understand you correctly, you may be surprised that several if not most of the signatories to the Chicago statement would affirm, in the words of one of them (John Gerstner)

             
Quote
The bible is a fallible collection of infallible books.


That is, I think, your point. They acknowledge that scripture is inspired, but (and this is what may surprise you) that our collection of what we take to be the canon of scripture is not.

Is this another, "Our method allows false negatives, but never a false positive!" type thing?

Puh-leeze! Gerstner, Sproul, Schaeffer, and Packer (and a few others) are personal heroes of mine. One simply cannot liken their honesty to the Nixplanatory Filter without causing spasms of projectile vomiting.

But, in a word, no. I think they would acknowledge both the slim possibility of a false positive (Maybe like, hey, Jude doesn't really belong) and the (probably slimmer but nonzero) possibility of false negative (maybe 1st Clement does---just like Clemente belongs in Cooperstown)

Edited to improve fallible word choices.

Date: 2008/07/29 16:29:52, Link
Author: dheddle
I'm a college professor and I never talk about Bill Buckner. Nobody on campus ever talks about Bill Buckner. It's a dirty little secret, but there you have it.

Date: 2008/07/31 13:39:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ July 30 2008,08:59)
I'd gotten busy with college stuff and had to set aside Here, Eyeball This by Heddle, but am restarting, and also reading-for-review The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability by Mirriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette.  (Review for and review copy provided by Elizabeth Wood of Sex in the Public Square.)

In case there is any doubt, Here, Eyeball This! is not intended as a companion volume to Sex in the Public Square.

Although if it helps sales... (I just got a royalty check for about 35 dollars, Canadian. The villa in Normandy is on hold.)

Date: 2008/08/01 09:51:03, Link
Author: dheddle
My nixplanatory filter is notoriously unreliable, but somehow I don't see LCD as a sockpuppet. If he is, I give him kudos for a nuanced performance. And if he is, his ability to do it here and and TT is, as far as I know, revolutionary. An achievement right up there with the first time an actor broke the fourth wall, or when Dylan went electric.

Date: 2008/08/02 16:54:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Here's something you don't see often. An open letter to the double doc.

As unsual as a pass for the lead in an F1 race.

Edit: edited what I had previously submitted.

Date: 2008/08/04 11:20:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Actually I skimmed the preprint. While I appreciate the approach I think the results, as is often the case when science goes lay-public, are overstated. If I understand correctly, he is solving the Lane-Emden equation, which is sort of a useful though simplistic model for stars and star-like objects. He then shows that sizable piece of the parameter space (G, alpha, and a sort of composite force coupling constant) produces star-like things--although not necessarily resembling our stars.

If robust enough this might be a successful attack on one fine tuning--it was generally thought that the stability of stars was highly dependent on the ratio of G to alpha. This is probably still true for "normal" stars--I'm not sure this paper refutes that. But even if it does, it ignores the primary fine tunings which are in star and galaxy formation, not stellar structure. Also it doesn't really address the fine tunings of the synthesis of heavy elements, nor whether these other types of stars go super nova, etc.

Having said all that, I must go back and read the paper more carefully. But that was my first impression.

Date: 2008/08/07 15:53:04, Link
Author: dheddle
My family has taken to saying Python's "Ni" for no. That includes my wife, who is Taiwanese, and has some difficulty appreciating Python humor. And my son Luke, who is autistic, but nevetheless uses "Ni" appropriately, at least as I and my other son define it, which is when you want to make an answer of "no" lighthearted, perhaps for selfish reasons:

Lady Heddle: Samuel, did you take out the garbage?

Samuel: Ni!

Luke, for a while, had a violin teacher named Mr. Ni. That was an endless source of amusement, especially because he was one strange agent.

Edited: for typo.

Date: 2008/08/08 13:20:26, Link
Author: dheddle
If it doesn’t have a V8, manual transmission, and require 93 octane, then it is a gender-challenged toy suitable only for Euro-trash and American “elitists” sporting fanny packs. C’mon, oil is down to $117. The gas price crisis is so last week. Long live the muscle car.

Here’s a selection for someone with a pair of ‘em:

Shelby

Camaro

Challenger

Date: 2008/08/09 08:20:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Anyone want to share the worst car they ever owned?

Mine was the Renault Alliance.

A joint venture between AMC and the French. In hindsight, what the hell was I thinking?

My only fond memory of it was that the heater was really good. I was in Urbana-Champaign at the time, so that helped stave off the effects of frigid blasts of winter winds blowing over a thousand miles of prairie.

Date: 2008/08/10 06:25:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Zachriel,

Quote
By the way, multiverses is a consequence of chaotic inflation, a cosmological theory that leads to very specific predictions, such as those concerning the cosmic background radiation.


That’s not quite right. But even granting the use of the phrase “is a consequence as of” as opposed to something slightly weaker such as “is suggested by”, consider:

Atomic instability and the ultraviolet catastrophe are consequences of classical electrodynamics, a highly successful theory that leads to very specific predictions such as those concerning wave propagation.

The point being: 1)  “consequences” of a theory must be tested 2) Sometimes they are wrong, which might lead to a better theory, and 3) Untesable “consequences” of a theory are virtually meaningless.

Edited to add link.

Date: 2008/08/10 07:05:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 08 2008,11:55)
David Heddle,

Could you share with the AtBC crew your email on the ASA list taking up Denyse O'Leary's call for change there?

Thanks.

I posted this on the ASA list:

   
Quote
In a comment on a UD post that might as well be titled: Jeffrey Schloss: Traitor, Denyse O'Leary says we and our organization are disgraceful. That we pander to the atheists so they won't be mean to us and will invite us to coffee. And that if there are any "serious scientists" in the ASA, they had better rescue the organization.

Will someone volunteer to start working on that?

See: http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-293724

David P. Heddle
Associate Professor of Physics
Christopher Newport University, &
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility


It has so-far generated little response. That may be due to its snarkiness, but it is also arguable, in my opinion, that there is a sense of Dembski and O'Leary fatigue or even a quasi-boycott of all things UD on the ASA list. Members have told me that, in light of repeated insults from Dembski and especially O'Leary, it is simply better not to respond to their chuckleheadediness (my word.)

Date: 2008/08/12 05:36:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

     
Quote
*Actually, that's the only serious part, or rather an allusion to something serious! I've been reading some of Hector Avalos' stuff as well as a few other things. Apparently some of the nicer elements of various documents (such as "love thy neighbour" etc) only apply to others of your same group, according to some theologians. So it's "love thy neighbour if he is a Jew". Apparently the "bearing false witness" thing, pretty much optional if your target isn't on your team. Standard caveats about a) IANATheologian, b) similar biblical exegesis can be found for many such ideas and their polar opposites, c) it's all in the best POSSIBLE taste, apply.


I'm assuming that since you added this as a serious footnote to the comment about "lying for Jesus" and in a post teasing Elsberry for not being a True Christian™ that you are saying Avalos and others suggest that sundry "nice" Christian commandants are only binding when directed at other Christians.

Is that what Avalos wrote? (Does he do theology by petition?) I could fill a post with counter examples. For starters, the “love your neighbor” part you mentioned is followed by Jesus commanding: “and not just that, that part’s a piece of cake, but love your enemies as well.” And we have the story of the Good Samaritan. And the healing the centurion’s servant. And Jesus’ pointed recounting of the healing of the Syrian leper Naaman, etc.

And then there is a complete absence of precedent setting examples of Jesus or the apostles being unkind toward or lying to the Romans authorities. Or even failing to pay their taxes to an immoral, occupying force.

If there is any secondary unifying theme of the New Testament, it's that it applies to everyone.

Any theologian who would claim that the intent of Jesus’ ethical teachings was that the Christians are free to limit their applicability to other Christians is either dumb as a rock or has an agenda he is attempting to support. In academia the agenda cannot exclude simply the need to be outrageous enough to get noticed*. This is especially true for the tiresome cliché of an atheist Religious Studies professor.

*You don't get to publish papers that say: "the orthodox view of this or that doctrine is actually quite correct--just thought I'd let y'all know."

Date: 2008/08/12 07:10:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

   
Quote
I am absolutely *NOT* teasing Wesley. I'm teasing people who trot out the No True (Scottish) Christian comment when one takes the trouble to point out that there are (for example) christians (like yourself) who have no problem with modern science. It's an "in-joke", not mockery of Wesley.


Which is what I understood. I meant precisely that, that you were "teasing" Wesley because he is the type of Christian that some fundamentalists would say is not a “True” Christian. I didn’t imply that you were mocking him.

   
Quote
Which brings to mind Lenny's knockdown comments regarding pizza boys. You're familiar with those? You do realise that your interpretation of your holy book isn't the only one out there don't you? You do realise that (shock horror) there are theologians and religious studies professionals who disagree with your exegesis?


In many areas of doctrinal differences, especially those both highly contentious and somewhat subtle, Lenny’s knockdown, though an argument stopper and anti-intellectual, is arguably legitimate. In this case it is not. I suggest that if you ask 100 reasonable people to give the New Testament a fair reading and then ask, regardless of whether they believed it, do they think the ethical teachings of Jesus were meant to apply only Christian-to-Christian, that at least 99 would say that the text does not support such a conclusion.

One thing: you have left me intrigued enough to order Fighting Words. I am combining it with an order for  Drinking with Calvin and Luther which I suspect will be more interesting, but who knows?

   
Quote
Apart from that, nice swipe at a chap who disagrees with your faith.

ETA: I'm pretty certain, having published a few things, that I don't need you to tell me about the vagaries of academic life.


For crying out loud don’t go all sensitive on me. ATBC is “Swipes R Us.”

Date: 2008/08/12 08:25:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Fair enough with all that you wrote except:

   
Quote
Whatever disagreements I would/do have with Lenny one of them is NOT that his favourite knockdown is either anti-intellectual or an argument stopper.


I (respectfully) disagree. Imagine applying it to literature:
----------
Teacher: the trash dump in The Great Gatsby symbolizes moral degradation under the all-seeing judgmental eye of God (the billboard).

Student: my pizza deliveryman says it symbolizes man’s inhumanity to man under the crying eye of God. And why is your interpretation any more authoritative than his?
---------
Now at some level, fair enough. But if it is meant as Lenny used it, which is to further imply: “so don’t bother giving your opinion,” then it is an argument stopper and anti-intellectual. If it is used to dive further into, say, the merits of the degradation v. inhumanity interpretation, then it is, as you say, a rhetorical device. Personally I never saw any indication that Lenny meant it as anything beyond “shut up.”

Date: 2008/08/12 20:27:53, Link
Author: dheddle
olegt,

Spot-on.

Date: 2008/08/13 20:46:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard et. al.,

I can only confirm that I have no recollection of DaveScot posting on the ID listserv. I wish after I got kicked off that someone kept feeding me the posts, but nobody did.

Ooh, "no recollection"--that sounds so Nixonian!

Date: 2008/08/14 10:08:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Aug. 14 2008,08:58)
Don't forget Heddle saved everything from that listerv prior to getting the boot.

Heddle how much $$ will it take for you to make us a copy?

Ain't gonna happen.

But that does remind me, they are on and old laptop sitting in a closet. I need to back them up for my own purposes.

Date: 2008/08/14 11:18:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 14 2008,10:35)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Aug. 14 2008,10:08)
   
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Aug. 14 2008,08:58)
Don't forget Heddle saved everything from that listerv prior to getting the boot.

Heddle how much $$ will it take for you to make us a copy?

Ain't gonna happen.

But that does remind me, they are on and old laptop sitting in a closet. I need to back them up for my own purposes.

Without naming naming, is the list as illustrious as Dave claims?

I don't think there would be any surprises. I say that with, let's say, 80% confidence. It could be that there were some names that I simply don't recognize, being out of field, and they might turn out to be (a) bio-bigshots and (b) deeply closeted IDers, but I don't think so. I can tell  you that if Dawkins was posting there, he was not using his own name, either Richard or Clinton.

Date: 2008/08/15 14:44:07, Link
Author: dheddle
Yo J-Dog,

Oooh, ooh, I know, I know, you could give them a poster of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy!

Who wouldn't want that, 'specialy in the land of John Knox!

Diya ken what I mean?

-------
Edit to add links. Edited again to fix typos.

Date: 2008/08/15 15:28:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 15 2008,14:57)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 15 2008,14:47)
Send the family some toothpaste and hair dye so they can have good teeth and 'not look like ginger twats'. This will go down amazingly well

Dammit Hughes!  That was a Keyboard Buster...

Heddle - Ummm... not sure about the churchy thing... Got any NASCAR ideas? (and I  hate NASCAR...)


Well, now that you mention it, there is, in Reformed circles, a well-known photo of John Knox enjoying a brewski at Chicagoland Speedway. Get a nice frame, perhaps something made from the bones of an Englishman, and that'd make a snappy gift.



Edit: typo (again!)

Date: 2008/08/29 07:58:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Concerning probability...

Personally, I think they are both wrong. If I understand the toy problem, n=4 (number of things to choose from) and r = 8 (number of sites.) And the assumption is that order doesn’t matter (degeneracy).

DaveScot is using n^8 (n**8 for FORTRANers) which simply is the number of permutations (no degeneracy.) He gets, after extensive used of electronic aids, 65,536.

Jack is using the formula 8!/(4!*3!*1!) Which is correct if you know you have 4C, 3T, 1A and gives you 280. Maybe that is the correct problem being solved, but notice that Jack’s calculation does not take “n” into account. That is, it our pool could be {G, C, T, A} (n=4) or {G, C, T, A, JeffGordon, BillBuckner, F1GirlyMan} (n = 7). It seems to me that the answer should take into account the number of bases.

Now if you just want to know what are the number of combinations where you have 8 sites, pick from a pool of 4, and have degeneracy, then it should be  ([(n+r-1)!]/[r!*(n-1)!] which is 11!/(8!*3!) or 165 for the base case (n=4) (and 3003 for n = 7).

But I could be wrong. Combinations and permutations are fiendishly tricky motor scooters.

But I think the answer is not 65536, or 280, but 165.

This is just like the Arby’s restaurant pick-5 menu: pick five things from a selection of 8 items, repeats allowed and obviously degeneracy. How many possibilities? Same formula with n=8 and r = 5 or 12!/(5!*7!) or 792, including the ever-popular “five curly fries.”

And if I am proven wrong, I reserve the right to edit this post and claim that Richard Hughes cracked my password and posted this under my name.

Date: 2008/08/29 09:47:39, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Jkrebs @ Aug. 29 2008,08:53)
Uh, Jack's calculation took n = 4 because there are four bases to choose from.  Why would n be anything different?

How did it take into account n = 4? Your calculation was 8!/(4!*3!*1!) = 280 with the 4, 3, and 1 coming from 4C, 3T,  and 1A.  But n = 4 refers to the fact that there are four possible pick 'ems: {G, C, T, A}. Your calculation couldn't care less that "G" exists, thus it does not take into account n = 4.

Edit: typo.

Date: 2008/09/01 09:30:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Aug. 31 2008,10:06)
And there's more:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/29/163234/559/495/579213

This is absurd. The only thing I knew about the dailyKos until the Palin announcement is that darkSyde wrote for them, and I like darkSyde. But in the last two days I see that dailyKos is a) “reporting” that Palin’s Down child is actually her grandchild, and now b) Palin is a hardcore dominionist. I dunno. Maybe being a sort of apolitical centrist helps me to see that many in either camp will accept crap uncritically, as long as it is crap from their side. I don’t see any difference at all between “Palin is a dominionist” and “Obama is a Moslem.” And the dailyKos, I must conclude, is a worthless World Net Daily sort of rag.

Date: 2008/09/02 05:47:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 02 2008,00:53)
Palin captures critical evangelical swing vote:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/01/palin.evangelicals/index.html

As I mentioned on Ed's blog, I can confirm that anecdotally, even more so after talking to more friends last night. The evangelicals, so far, absolutely love her. (As do I.) It has nothing to do with what the evangelical leaders are saying, indeed in many cases such as mine it would have to be in spite of what they are saying--it is a powerful, visceral response, fair or not, that "she is really us, not a groomed, plastic, blow-dried Ralph Reed type pandering for our vote."

This could all change, and at any rate having the evangelicals rally behind her, especially if the so-called leaders make a big fuss, could end up a net minus instead of a net plus--such analyses are above my pay grade. But the fact, I suspect now beyond refute, is that the choice has indeed energized the sleeping evangelical base. Whether it was a sleeping bear or sleeping paper tiger I don't know.

I would also add my guess that no current (plausible) stories, even should they prove true, would dampen the excitement in that community. And I would also add, again, that these observations are purely anecdotal, based on talking to my friends who have talked to their friends, etc.

The one criticism of her that might have some legs among evangelicals is that given all her personal family problems, which is a big part of her appeal, is being VP in the best interest of her family? My guess is that she cannot come up with a slam dunk answer to this, but she'll come up with some answer, and that will be enough.

Bottom line: FTK is not the only one gushing, not by a long-shot.

Date: 2008/09/02 06:54:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 01 2008,23:01)
Quote (sparc @ Sep. 01 2008,22:57)
WMAD never gives up:      
Quote
Randy Isaac, the executive director of the ASA (i.e., the American Scientific Affiliation — an organization of evangelical Christians largely committed to theistic evolution) will give a talk titled “Science: A Misused Weapon in a Religious War” at Baylor on September 9th. I’m fifteen minutes from the school, so I’ll probably be there.

Cancel that, it's being held in the cafeteria.

Man I'd love to be there. WMAD is no match for Randy Isaac.

Date: 2008/09/02 07:33:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (deadman_932 @ Sep. 01 2008,22:20)
 
Quote (Maya @ Sep. 01 2008,20:16)
I spend the weekend moving back to school and check in here to find NASCAR bashing.  I thought all y'all had some culture.

It's my understanding that Dave "Scooter" Scot-Springer  practically absorbed NASCAR with his mother's milk:

Argggh,

May it never be!

In NASCAR fandom, we welcome: second-rate physicists, disgruntled F1-fans who belatedly discover their Y-chromosome, pit-lizards (let the reader understand), people with three rows of buck teeth who marry inside the family, drunkards, good-ole-boys, moonshiners, yuppies (there  are three cup races a year in California) libertarians (and two in New Hampshire) rust-belters (Michigan) masochists (Chicago) and NBC-planted “Muslim looking dudes.”

But we sniff-out and exterminate all pseudo-intellectuals. DS hasn’t a chance.

EDIT: BTW, a true citizen of NASCAR Nation would notice something terribly wrong with this, um, unadulterated photo. No, it's not that the woman appears to have all her teeth, but rather that the Miller Lite car is a Dodge Charger, not a Ford Taurus.

Date: 2008/09/02 09:46:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 02 2008,08:42)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 02 2008,05:47)
Bottom line: FTK is not the only one gushing, not by a long-shot.

Dheddle, don't you feel just a tad USED by this choice of a VP candidate? McCain made a cynical calculation, and you fell for it. This woman has no substantive experience, and even those who should be her fans have little to say about her governing abilities. I couldn't care less about her personal life, but        
Quote
John Harris, the (REPUBLICAN) speaker of the Alaska House, when asked about her qualifications for Veep, replied with this: "She's old enough. She's a U.S. citizen."

and        
Quote
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Lyda Green, the president of the State Senate, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

Couple that with the investigation into abuse of power vis-a-vis her former brother in law, and the revelations that she wangled $27 million in federal pork for her village of less than 7000 people, and she looks like a typical venal politician, except with even less experience. She may not be Ralph Reed, but she might be Tom DeLay or Bob Ney or Newt Gingrich (without the resumes of any of those guys).

If evangelicals are over the moon about this pick, it really does highlight how they can overlook just about everything else and still support a co-religionist regardless of reality.

That's just sad.

No, I don't feel used. Every VP pick in the history of the Republic was made to shore up support. Every single VP pick in history is an example of pandering to somebody. Obama's choice was to comfort those who are inclined to vote for him but nervous about his lack of National Security creds. Should those people feel "used"? Did Texans feel "used" when JFK chose LBJ?

It may be that when more is revealed about Palin I'll change my mind back to Obama. But the quotes you provided sure won't do it--any more than quotes about Obama's lack of experience influenced me when I was ready to pull the lever for him. If experience was a huge factor, which for me it is not, then I would have been in the McCain camp long before he chose Palin.

Date: 2008/09/02 10:14:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (jupiter @ Sep. 02 2008,09:52)
dheddle, you're ignoring the corruption/abuse of power issues raised. Don't those give you pause? Or make you even slightly interested in looking into them on your own?

Yes I am more than interested. Excuse me for not taking as gospel the first wave of stories that followed the announcement. I also didn't believe the "Obama is a closet Moslem" stories. If they have legs, if they turn out to point to serious corruption, then it would certainly have an effect on my vote. As for what is mentioned, would $27 million in pork bother me? Hell no, every politician should have a goal of getting back to their state a reasonable fraction of the federal dollars their citizens sent to DC. I don't expect my governor to say--"Oh, let's just let Robert Byrd have all those dollars for WVa." Having her sister-in-law's husband fired without cause? If that turns out to be true that would be disturbing. But a report that it is being investigated is just that--I'll wait until the investigation is completed.

Date: 2008/09/02 10:39:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 02 2008,10:29)
Just as a side point, if Obama WAS a muslim, would it really matter to you Dave?

The question I suppose I am asking is "Is the single issue of a candidate's specific religious/non-religious stance sufficiently important to you to vote/not vote for them?". Which immediately springs the follow-on question of "Would you excuse a member of your own sect for unpleasantness X and not excuse a member of another sect/non-religious candidate for unpleasantness X?".

Louis

It might, I don't know for sure, but it might. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I tend to vote for people in part because they are like me. Part of Obama's appeal to me includes that he is a Christian, part of the appeal is the history making aspect of an African-American president, and part of the appeal is that he is smart. I am so "not a Moslem" that I don't honestly know if I would vote for one. I think I could, but that is purely hypothetical.

So that answers the first question--somebody being "like me" in their biography is absolutely appealing. I have a lot in common with Palin: lower middle class upbringing, handicapped child, evangelical Christian. There is no doubt that I find that commonality appealing.

As for the second question, I would not excuse a member of my own "sect." If Palin is corrupt, I will not vote for her.  On the other hand, I don't expect her to be a saint, either.

Date: 2008/09/02 10:58:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Albatrossity2,

You see no possible gradations here? All porkers are equal, everyone is a Robert Byrd? I don't. I can easily see being an anti-porker and yet receiving some pork. Politics is messy. If everyone fed just a bit at the trough, the question of pork barrel politics would go away. It's those who are gluttons who worry me.

Your comment about the trooper-gate probe seems to be cynical--the results won't be out until after the election. If so, and if she wins, and if they results show illegal activity, then I'll have to hold that against her after the election. The world is not perfect, and the alternative is holding to an investigation as proof of a misdeed. I wouldn't take that approach with anyone.

Date: 2008/09/02 11:23:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

Could you rephrase this question:

 
Quote
So to follow-on the follow-on, would you have any choosing between two otherwise identical (hypothetical) candidates one of whom is black (and thus presumably unlike you) and one of whom is white (and thus presumably like you)?


I think there is a word missing, and I don't want to assume that I know what it is.

Albatrossity2,

What main point did I miss? I thought I was pretty clear that I do not view her being anti-pork and her going after some pork as evidence of hypocrisy. I thought I was clear that it is every politician's fiduciary responsibility to go after some pork, to try to retrieve some of the tax dollars the state sends to DC.


Note: I have to get ready to teach my Astronomy class, so any reply will be delayed.

Date: 2008/09/02 15:20:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 02 2008,11:42)
So to follow-on the follow-on, would you have any trouble choosing between two otherwise identical (hypothetical) candidates one of whom is black (and thus presumably unlike you) and one of whom is white (and thus presumably like you)?

Well, the way it is worded I would have one problem, that of the hungry mule halfway between two equally delicious buckets, one of oats and one of corn. I'd starve from frozen indecision since there is no way to choose. But I think you are asking if I would take race into account, and the answer is no. There are more important factors beyond race that would permit me to identify with one over the other, such as demeanor--For example I am immediately drawn to down-to-earth types as opposed to scholarly-acting types.

Date: 2008/09/02 17:57:58, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (GCT @ Sep. 02 2008,17:27)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 02 2008,16:20)
   
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 02 2008,11:42)
So to follow-on the follow-on, would you have any trouble choosing between two otherwise identical (hypothetical) candidates one of whom is black (and thus presumably unlike you) and one of whom is white (and thus presumably like you)?

Well, the way it is worded I would have one problem, that of the hungry mule halfway between two equally delicious buckets, one of oats and one of corn. I'd starve from frozen indecision since there is no way to choose. But I think you are asking if I would take race into account, and the answer is no. There are more important factors beyond race that would permit me to identify with one over the other, such as demeanor--For example I am immediately drawn to down-to-earth types as opposed to scholarly-acting types.

Well, I'm glad that we have people like you who will look at the issues and vote...oh wait...

Y'know, it's attitudes like this that put shrub in the office.  How many people said they voted for him because Gore was too smart or not likeable enough, or that they felt they could have a beer with shrub?

Sad.

Democracy sucks. Maybe you could institute a "you must cogently explain the issues'' voting poll to weed out those unprofitable citizens like me who trust our gut (sometimes resulting in utter failure) more than those who trust the issues (because candidates always tell the truth about what policies they will pursue.)

Edit: typo

Date: 2008/09/02 18:00:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 01 2008,23:31)
Advice to Sarah Palin: Whatever they offer, don't accept that offer of a special guest appearance on "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?"

Advice to Joe Biden, if you are on "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" it would be considered gauche to challenge one of the kids to an IQ face-off.

Date: 2008/09/02 18:09:21, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 02 2008,16:59)
You're right it's a race question, and like I said, I didn't expect you to have any issue other than the one you mentioned ("lucky donkey" problem). Also like I said, I'm trying to map the extent of this "vote for the candidate like me" idea. It strikes me as an awfully daft way to vote, but then no doubt there is some subtlety I'm missing.

Are religion, class and demeanour the only "personal" factors that matter to you?

No subtlety. Maybe just an acknowledgement that the strategy has limitations. There are positions outrageous enough that no matter how much I identified with the candidate I wouldn't vote for him or her.

BTW, same answer for the other groups you mentioned.

No, I also like someone who looks like they can speak extemporaneously. Obama seems pretty good, McCain less so, and Biden most susceptible, at toxic concentrations, to foot-in-mouth. Palin seems quite good based on the few interviews I've seen--time will tell.

Date: 2008/09/03 04:13:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (GCT @ Sep. 02 2008,21:17)
     
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 02 2008,20:54)
GCT choosing between a runny turd and a lumpy turd ain't exactly free will.  How can you hold coerced people responsible for decisions that have no effect on any perceivable endpoint I find hard to understand.

Yeah, we never have the best people running, but I hardly find that to be a legitimate excuse for voting for someone like shrub, especially when he was voted specifically because he wasn't as qualified for the job.

And, I fail to see what you mean by coerced people.  Heddle can look up the issues instead of voting for McCain simply because Palin goes to the right church.

And, yeah, the platforms are pretty well similar, but there are some differences, and some important ones.  Roe v. Wade?  War in Iran?  Continued presence in Iraq?  You don't have to agree with me, but at least have the decency to look up what's being debated.

You have made a mistake. I don't need to look up the issues. I know about the issues. Why, I bet my issues IQ is higher than yours! I didn't say that I don't know the issues. No, the point is twofold: in a aggregate sense I don't see much difference--that is on some issues I tend to be Republican, some Democratic, and it more or less is a wash. (Other libertarian leaning voters will recognize the problem--we don't fit in either major party.) Then there is the fact that once elected candidates tend to give in to expediency anyway. How many Republicans have promised to reduce government, and how many have succeeded?

No my friend, it is not that I don't know the issues, it that I choose (to a limited extent) not to vote by them. Issue voting will break your heart everytime.

[Aside: Palin goes to the right church? She has switched to a Reformed Baptist Church?]

Date: 2008/09/03 07:54:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 03 2008,07:48)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 03 2008,04:13)
Issue voting will break your heart everytime.

And values voting will break the country.

Good choice.

Well, I do tend to be Calvinistic about these things.

Date: 2008/09/03 13:27:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 03 2008,12:21)
Road Trip?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BCrburgring

I'm so there! Do they allow real cars on the track, or only gender challenged euro-toys?

Date: 2008/09/03 13:55:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 03 2008,13:35)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 03 2008,13:27)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 03 2008,12:21)
Road Trip?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BCrburgring

I'm so there! Do they allow real cars on the track, or only gender challenged euro-toys?

It's whatever you want, Dave. No speed limit, insurance can be a bit sticky.

I'd probably rent one of these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Lancer_Evolution

can't wait to see you wipe out when you encounter the fabled right hand turn.*



*getting from A to B only using left hand turns would be a cool optimization problem.

Oh, I'll just bring a humble, stock, Chevy Impala.

(Did you say right turn?)

Date: 2008/09/06 09:46:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 05 2008,13:35)
*snip*

As you can see, I been practicin' up the Scottish... Erin leaving for Edinburgh next week!

Here is a good Scottish phrase:

Yer Jaickets oan a shoogly nail

lit. Your jacket is hangin on a wobbly nail.

def.
1) Your situation is precarious.
2) You might be in deep kimchee.

Usage: A Lad from Glasgow observed: "Bin wacthin that Palin lass a wee bit. Must say to Biden, yer Jaickets oan a shoogly nail."

Date: 2008/09/06 12:00:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 06 2008,11:01)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 06 2008,09:46)
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 05 2008,13:35)
*snip*

As you can see, I been practicin' up the Scottish... Erin leaving for Edinburgh next week!

Here is a good Scottish phrase:

Yer Jaickets oan a shoogly nail

lit. Your jacket is hangin on a wobbly nail.

def.
1) Your situation is precarious.
2) You might be in deep kimchee.

Usage: A Lad from Glasgow observed: "Bin wacthin that Palin lass a wee bit. Must say to Biden, yer Jaickets oan a shoogly nail."

Ach Nae, the lassie's likely facin 10-20 years in gaol, wit Bush-Cheney doing the Danny Deever.

Youv'e been studying!

Date: 2008/09/09 08:51:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 08 2008,21:13)
I recommend this stuff. It's like Mountain Dew for adults.

I think I'll try that. Maybe next Sunday (like, OMG, after church of course!!) while watching NASCAR. Seems like fitting environs for "adult Mountain Dew." And all the time laughing at those F1-ers with their tiny glasses of  chablis.

Date: 2008/09/11 07:52:29, Link
Author: dheddle
I'm kind of disappointed that the world didn't end. Apocalypse by Black Hole had nice Calvinistic overtones.

We still have hope. The cross section for pp-->Rapture is small. Wait to the LHC is running at full luminosity.

EDIT: because a special character (a right arrow) that worked in the preview didn't show up in the post. I guess the AtBC powers-that-be consider some special characters (especially right arrows) dangerous.

Date: 2008/09/11 10:05:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Check out the last ten seconds of LHC webcams.

This is rarely a good sign.

Louis, are you still there?

Date: 2008/09/11 11:20:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 11 2008,10:50)
   
Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 11 2008,10:47)
Biologists can haz big sciens too.
       
Quote
Dallas, TX – Scientists from the Evolutionary Acceleration Research Institute (EARI) announced that the first test of the Giant Animal Smasher (GAS) will begin on December 19, 2008, the 41st anniversary of the premiere of Dr. Dolittle.

Dr. Thomas Malwin, head of the research project, said, "The first test runs will only accelerate microscopic life-forms like bacteria and viruses to high speeds, but theoretically the GAS can handle animals as large as squirrels, hence the squirrel smasher moniker."

Crazy scientists in there ivory towers.  Us folks out in reality-land have been experimenting with smashing together large, dumb animals for years. Ain't that right, Heddle? Observe.

EDIT: To make it a little more....personal.

So true... NASCAR collisions produce oodles more center of mass energy than the LHC. All gasoline powered. We don't need no stinkin' superconducting magnets and RF cavities. And by the size of some of the beer bellies--well the Higgs field is sure in evidence.

Date: 2008/09/16 06:37:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 15 2008,22:41)
Oh, I think racisim would definitely be a part of an Obama loss. While the GOP has primarily been the home of white racists since the 60's, it wasn't a 100% complete relocation, and there are some racist Democrats.

Actually I know quite a few (~30) white racists, or at least those that display all the generally accepted outward signs of racism, and each and everyone, to the man, is a Democrat.

Date: 2008/09/16 07:38:43, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2008,07:23)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2008,12:37)
       
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 15 2008,22:41)
Oh, I think racisim would definitely be a part of an Obama loss. While the GOP has primarily been the home of white racists since the 60's, it wasn't a 100% complete relocation, and there are some racist Democrats.

Actually I know quite a few (~30) white racists, or at least those that display all the generally accepted outward signs of racism, and each and everyone, to the man, is a Democrat.

Yeah, well I know 60 paedophile, nun killing, racist, homophobic, sexist, arms dealering anti-semites, all of whom vote Republican and Conservative AND BNP and Nazi, all of whom were responsible for the Holocaust all of whom believe in YOUR specific sect of religious drivel and all of whom attend YOUR church and were cloned from YOUR big toenail clippings.

And the useful productive discussion of the issues in that was where?

Heddle, for an intelligent and educated bloke, you sure do have some mightily fucked up mental blinkers.

Louis

Louis,

No I'm quite serious. And I actually do not know, personally, any Republican racists. I'm not stupid enough to say there are none, I just do not know any, personally, while I personally know, as I stated, ~30 racists (or maybe not, you decide) who are Democrats.

The explanation is actually quite simple. I grew up in a lower middle class (perhaps poor is more accurate) inner-city neighborhood, in Pittsburgh’s Northside region, for those who know the city. (The stadiums are in this area.) My neighborhood and schools were racially divided, a little more that half were black. To first order, everyone in this environment grows up a racist. It’s an “us vs. them” world that if you grew up in the lilly-white suburbs (like my kids are) you’d never understand. If you had to get from point A to B, you performed a risk analysis/optimization that took into account variables like, time of day, time of year, how many people were with you, how fast you just had to get there, what streets you had to cross, and most importantly, the prevailing neighborhood atmosphere at the moment.  If there had been a recent black v. white incident, the chance of another was much greater.

Again, to first order, there are only two ways out of this that I know of: religion (virtually any common variety with ethical teachings will suffice) and/or education. Fortunately I got both.

The last reunion I went to was a couple summers ago. Of the thirty or forty close friends I grew up with, only five or six of us had “gotten out.” (Another oddity for suburbanites—as kids didn’t drive to a field and play soccer with strangers, we played with the same kids, every day, year in year out. You could be in a fistfight at noon and best friends again an hour later.)

What about the rest of my friends, who didn’t get out? The rest are Pittsburgh policemen, firemen, and other blue collar workers. Many (because of their fathers) are in the Boilermakers union (welders) or Sheet Metal Workers (duct workers) or are union glaziers.

Now, after a few Iron City beers, actually it doesn’t take that much, these guys will unleash a torrent of complaints with generous application of the N-word. I didn’t get promoted because they gave it to some F**king N***… If my daughter came home with a N***,… This sort of thing.

The only other group they lash out upon with comparable animosity are the “party of the rich” Republicans. Like their union daddies before them, they are staunch, die-hard, union Democrats.

Now to be sure I don’t know if these guys, or at least if all these guys, in spite of talking the talk, are really racists. Like many people with a tough life they look for a scapegoat. And unless you’ve walked in their shoes, unless you grew up in an “us vs. them” hostile environment, you really can’t judge their attitudes. It is more complex than it is made out to be. I think the most accurate portrayal I’ve ever seen is Matt Dillion in Crash. Was he a racist or not? It’s hard to say.

Now, do you actually have a plausible story about knowing, personally, " 60 paedophile, nun killing, racist, homophobic, sexist, arms dealering anti-semites, all of whom vote Republican" ? If so, let's have it.

Date: 2008/09/16 08:27:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

 
Quote
The point is not that there are naughty people on the other side, there are naughty people everywhere


No that is not the point. At least not the point I'm concerned with. Who would argue that there are not bad guys everywhere? I was responding, specifically, to steve s's comment:

   
Quote
While the GOP has primarily been the home of white racists since the 60's, it wasn't a 100% complete relocation, and there are some racist Democrats.


Am I parsing that wrong? Is it not true that the message it sends is that the majority, even the vast majority, of white racists are Republicans?

Well when I think of actual white racists, I think of where I grew up, and where I grew up is overwhelmingly Democrat.

So I don't see how I missed the point. I provided the life history, which you can believe or not I don't care, as an explanation after your, um, rebuttal about knowing Republican pedophiles. You seemed to imply, as I read it, that I could not possibly have an explanation for my claim, and then you dismiss that explanation as irrelevant.

Date: 2008/09/16 08:53:23, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 16 2008,08:39)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2008,08:27)
I was responding, specifically, to steve s's comment:

       
Quote
While the GOP has primarily been the home of white racists since the 60's, it wasn't a 100% complete relocation, and there are some racist Democrats.


Am I parsing that wrong? Is it not true that the message it sends is that the majority, even the vast majority, of white racists are Republicans?

Dave, Google up "Nixon southern strategy" to see the point of what Steve was getting at. In short, Louis is right (and it pains me to no end to say that).  You seem to be assuming that your limited experience with racists is typical. It is not.

I am not assuming it is typical. I am saying that more or less equating racism with the Republican party is an over simplification. There is a lot more complexity out there.

Date: 2008/09/16 12:04:10, Link
Author: dheddle
*Yawn*

I know it's just me, but I think a brouhaha over whether R's or D's put out a snappier welcome wagon for white racists would have been a lot more fun. This is too high falutin' for my taste.

(Runs off to teach Astronomy, which is relatively safe.)

Date: 2008/09/16 13:24:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2008,12:33)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2008,18:04)
*Yawn*

I know it's just me, but I think a brouhaha over whether R's or D's put out a snappier welcome wagon for white racists would have been a lot more fun. This is too high falutin' for my taste.

(Runs off to teach Astronomy, which is relatively safe.)

Translation from Heddlese:

"I was wrong but I lack the balls to admit it."

Such an intellectual you are!

Louis

Translation from Louis-ese (Louise?):

I declare victory!

Such an intellectual you are!

Gosh Louis you can be a tight ass. Lighten up.

Date: 2008/09/16 14:59:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2008,14:10)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2008,19:24)
   
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2008,12:33)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2008,18:04)
*Yawn*

I know it's just me, but I think a brouhaha over whether R's or D's put out a snappier welcome wagon for white racists would have been a lot more fun. This is too high falutin' for my taste.

(Runs off to teach Astronomy, which is relatively safe.)

Translation from Heddlese:

"I was wrong but I lack the balls to admit it."

Such an intellectual you are!

Louis

Translation from Louis-ese (Louise?):

I declare victory!

Such an intellectual you are!

Gosh Louis you can be a tight ass. Lighten up.

Are you familiar with the quaint English phrase: "taking the piss"?

I was.

Anyway, I made and make no mention of victory. You might have noticed before I've made a few comments about "victory" of any kind not being the point. I'd expect you to have missed them though.

Louis

And I made no mention of anything like "I was wrong but lack the balls to admit it." I thought the whole point of the "translation" gimmick was to point out what we actually "said", even though we didn't say it.

But, what-ever floats your boat.

Date: 2008/09/20 05:43:46, Link
Author: dheddle


Have a good one, dude.

Date: 2008/09/20 13:17:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 19 2008,19:08)
Of course, since Heddle is a Calvinist, he's only getting what he deserves.

Ba-Dum- Ching!

No, no, no! That's 180 degrees off! The point of Calvinism is that some (the elect) get what they don't deserve.

Edit: typo. Too bad Biden doesn't have this feature.

Date: 2008/09/24 07:50:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 24 2008,06:47)
 
Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 23 2008,23:24)
 
Quote
I found the Sci-Am/A.K. Dewdney article in which is described the Apraphulian rope and pulley computer:


A thing like that could go on the science news thread. Fascinating.

Henry

Uh, no.

Say the tribe name out loud several times.

I don't know if anyone does 4/1 joke better than Sci Am. A personal favorite was Martin Gardner's refutation of the four color theorem.

Date: 2008/10/01 06:53:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richard Simons @ Sep. 30 2008,21:42)
I see The Economist is polling its readers to see who they would prefer. Each country gets votes according to its population following the American Electoral College system. Current results are McCain 3, Obama 8192 - but we all know how reliable internet polls are ;-)

If there were no other reasons to vote for McCain (and there aren't many, other than Sarah Palin and Joe 'they shot at me!' Biden) that alone might provide sufficient cause.

Date: 2008/10/01 08:38:31, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richard Simons @ Oct. 01 2008,08:32)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 01 2008,06:53)
   
Quote (Richard Simons @ Sep. 30 2008,21:42)
I see The Economist is polling its readers to see who they would prefer. Each country gets votes according to its population following the American Electoral College system. Current results are McCain 3, Obama 8192 - but we all know how reliable internet polls are ;-)

If there were no other reasons to vote for McCain (and there aren't many, other than Sarah Palin and Joe 'they shot at me!' Biden) that alone might provide sufficient cause.

Why do so many Americans seem to take the view that it is a good thing to have a leader who is disliked elsewhere? I do not understand this attitude "I am opposed to whatever you want".

It's not that. I simply have an inviolate voting guideline:

If, in the postmodern world, China, Russia, and Venezuela are against a candidate, and Andorra is for that candidate, I'm going to vote for him no matter what. This rule has never let me down.

Date: 2008/10/03 08:33:04, Link
Author: dheddle

Date: 2008/10/03 10:45:54, Link
Author: dheddle
I disagree with the general charge of anti-intellectualism.

Like many here, I work among the smartest people on the planet—in my case in a national lab. I don’t want any of them governing me. Or, like WFB quipped, I’d take my chances with the first 200 names of the Boston phonebook over the Harvard faculty.

But this is not necessarily anti-intellectualism. It can be recognition that neither high IQ (especially) or an encyclopedic command of facts has a significant positive  correlation  with the ability to lead or govern. That is based on evidence: to first order everyone I work with has high IQ—but they all have different political opinions. Everyone on the SCOTUS has a high IQ and is legal expert, and yet we have many 5-4 decisions. Politics always, or almost always, comes down to the dreaded world-view. Intellectuals may be able to toss a prettier word salad, but that’s about it.

For further evidence go over to the brainiac of blogs and the bastion of rationality (Pharyngula) and start a debate about libertarianism, animal testing, or gun rights. Now imagine those smart, highly educated people are our congress, and what do you get? Name calling, nasty insults, apoplectic rants, and, most telling, no consensus. In other words, nothing different from any other group discussing politics.

Date: 2008/10/03 12:22:59, Link
Author: dheddle
I am not equating smart people with intellectualism. The smart people I mentioned are also intellectuals, at least in my definition of the word. They are smart and curious and informed and passionate and well educated and engaged. (I know that to be true of my colleagues, and concede it to be true of Pharyngula commenters.) The point remains that they display no (in my estimation) statistically significant bump in their leadership or governance or compromise or consensus-reaching skills over a random selection of “ordinary folk.”

As for those who disliked and didn’t vote for Al Gore, it wasn’t because he was too smart. (Hardly.) Rather, it was because he was perceived as creepy and condescending.

Bill Clinton was (is) very smart and popular. Why? In large part because he connects with people and he knew how to lead. You can dismiss this as identity politics but nevertheless it is true, and his personal popularity allowed him to run an effective government. Regan was not nearly as cerebral, but just as popular, and again an effective president, and again in part because of a connection that had nothing to do with intellectualism. Carter was an intellectual and a disaster in the Whitehouse. (Yes I know, these are just my opinions.)

Date: 2008/10/03 15:30:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Tony M Nyphot,

Yes, quite a few people are disappointed that I support Palin. I don’t understand that. People don’t disappoint me if they support a different candidate. I switched from Obama because he flip flopped on FISA and public finance. (He also flip flopped on Born Alive—but in that case his flop was preferred to his flip). And the final straw for me was the Biden selection. But for those for whom those things are not important, I don’t ponder why they don’t “get it.”

You would be wrong to assume anything even remotely close to “smart people support Obama.” (Or any other candidate.) There are plenty of smart people supporting each candidate. The closest you can come to making such a statement is that the smart people on sites like this support Obama—but these sites, and counterparts on the right, are merely unrepresentative blips. If you think that way, you are in danger of waking up the day after the election like the proverbial Hamptons socialite who said: “I don’t understand how Nixon won, everyone I know voted for McGovern.” (OK, that won’t happen this election which is, for all intents and purposes, over--but the point stands.)

As for Palin, I do not think that exhaustive knowledge of all the nuances of the issues is important for a president or VP. Cheney knows a bundle but he’s a crappy VP. Ditto Gore, Carter, Johnson, Nixon. I always want a president (or in this case a VP) that I find to be a good and decent  and capable person—certainly they must rise above some intellectual threshold, one that I think Palin more than achieves—but primarily I want a person I can admire. At one time I felt that way about Obama. Now, of the four on the national ticket, I only feel that way about Palin. And I’ll take that over command of the issues, interviewing or debating skill, passing an ideological litmus test, or pedigree any day of the week.

If the Identity-Politics Watchdogs (who, in my opinion, cast their lidless-eye gaze in but one direction) don't like that--screw 'em. Democracy can be a bitch.

Edit: Biden Moment Typo.

Date: 2008/10/03 17:19:10, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 03 2008,17:04)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 03 2008,15:30)
As for Palin, I do not think that exhaustive knowledge of all the nuances of the issues is important for a president or VP. Cheney knows a bundle but he’s a crappy VP. Ditto Gore, Carter, Johnson, Nixon. I always want a president (or in this case a VP) that I find to be a good and decent  and capable person—certainly they must rise above some intellectual threshold, one that I think Palin more than achieves—but primarily I want a person I can admire.

Dave

Would your high opinion of Palin be changed at all if the ongoing investigation finds that she abused her office in the attempts to get her former brother-in-law fired? Or is that also to be admired, because she was looking out for her sister?

I just don't get why having someone whom you can "admire" is the ultimate point-getter in your scorebook, trumping experience, legislative acumen, achievements, and reasoning ability. Going back to your original comment, do you not "admire" some of the folks you work with?  You know, the same ones who you are convinced would be a worse president than #132 in the Boston phone book?  Or is it possible that "admire" is a rationalization  for "makes me feel good about my religious views"?

Yes, unless there were mitigating circumstances. If her ex brother-in-law did indeed taser her nephew and did indeed make death threats against her father, then I'd give her a pass on that one. In that case, I'd do the same.

I tried to make it clear with many examples--Nixon, Johnson, Carter, Gore, Cheney--I see no reason why "experience, legislative acumen and achievements" are such a big deal. If I did, then I never would have supported Obama in the first place.

Date: 2008/10/05 05:22:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (JAM @ Oct. 04 2008,23:39)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 03 2008,17:19)
Yes, unless there were mitigating circumstances. If her ex brother-in-law did indeed taser her nephew and did indeed make death threats against her father, then I'd give her a pass on that one. In that case, I'd do the same.

Interesting evasion of the ethical point.

I don't see what her brother-in-law is accused of doing has to do with it.

Do you always have such contempt for due process, Dave?

It seems to me that even if he was a child molester, a governor has no business pushing others to fire a state trooper.

You are confusing the question--which was what I would think about it. Of course if she broke the law she will have to face the consequences. But if (and I don't know this for a fact) it turns out the brother-in-law is indeed a scumbag who tasered the nephew and made death threats, then I wouldn't hold it against her.

In the same way, if someone threatened Obama's family and then Obama beat the crap out of the bastard, I'd say: "nicely done."

Date: 2008/10/05 12:00:12, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (simmi @ Oct. 05 2008,06:50)
dheddle:

   
Quote
In the same way, if someone threatened Obama's family and then Obama beat the crap out of the bastard, I'd say: "nicely done."


I think a better analogy to the Palin situation would be if one of Obama's law students threatened his family and then Obama failed him/her (or tried to kick them out of law school).  How would you feel about that?

I think you're allowing someone to take political/professional retribution against someone who has personally wronged them (or at least giving them a pass).  In my opinion, it is the mixing of the personal with the political that should carry greater weight, especially when the person under examination is seeking political power.

I don't know how far you would go with this, but it sounds like you're willing to give a pass to "eye for an eye" morality.  What about "turn the other cheek"?  (Or at least "render unto Caesar"?)

Again, we are talking about me. I give her a pass under those circumstances. Whether or not God does is up to Him.

And if Obama got a student who threatened his family kicked out of school, I'd say "rock on."

Date: 2008/10/06 12:03:36, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 06 2008,11:14)
If McCain's going to try to guilt-by-association Obama, Obama's gonna put a hurtin' on him. McCain's got way more criminal associates. And as Ben Smith says, the Keating scandal wasn't guilt-by-association. It was guilt-by-guilt.

No way, McCain will "win" the negative war hands down. On one side the friggin' boring Keating 5, a witch doctor, and trooper-gate. On the other, you have Ayers, Rezko, Wright, Kinnock and resume padding. If McCain wants to go totally negative, nothing will trump repeated playings of Wright's GD-ing America.

I am not advocating this, not by any stretch--and I have no idea if it will be effective or not. It's just an observation. If the campaigns go totally negative, if they havn't already, McCain has more fodder.

Date: 2008/10/06 13:54:23, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 06 2008,13:38)
It's sad to watch Heddle audition for his spot at UD.

That doesn't make any sense. I'm merely stating the facts. If you imagine a campaign gone hog-wild negative, the 800 pound gorilla will be Wright's GD-ing of America. That's not advocating that the campaign go in that direction--I hope they don't. I find the TV ads repulsive enough as they are. It's merely stating the obvious. Put differently, I suspect the Obama campaign is more leary of a highly negative campaign than McCain--and not just because they are winning. It doesn't take Fellini to figure out that a Wright ad is potentially more effective than Keating 5 ad with the undecided Reagan democrats.

What is sad is to see you, of all people, respond with a dumb, meaningless, irrational comment. You can go to hell.

Date: 2008/10/08 07:38:25, Link
Author: dheddle

Date: 2008/10/08 09:40:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Spottedwind @ Oct. 08 2008,09:34)
Heddle - What is the dog that McCain is equal to?  It looks familiar, but to be honest, I'm not sure what type of dog it is.  Not trying to deconstruct the joke*, just curious about the dog.


* - My personal proclivities aside, I think the guitar and train jokes are funnier because they are clearer and easier to get, IMO.  They also seem a bit more focused on just Palin and, IMO, actually give McCain some respect.  In the guitar at least...he's the acoustic...kind of classic, timeless, and dependable, if less flashy and modern than the others.  The train...well, yeah that's the 'old' thing no matter how you cut it.  But Palin in both cases is just a toy, well out of her league.

** - Yes, I know analyzing a joke is just about the most boring thing possible...and I have no defense for that :)

*** - Because it's what all the cool kids are doing.

For McCain I did a google image search on "old German Shepherds" and that was one of the returns.

Date: 2008/10/08 11:09:44, Link
Author: dheddle
I think the decay rate variation is one of the coolest conundrums to show up in a while. Of course the jury is still out as to whether it is real--but I think the answer should not be too hard to ascertain.

It is unfortunate but predictable that YECs are trumpeting this as helpful to their cause. The magnitude of the conspiracy would be impressive. All isotopes and decay modes used in radiometric dating would have to be affected in the same manner to give the same wrong answer. And non radiometric methods would have to join in the conspiracy too.

Date: 2008/10/08 11:37:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 08 2008,11:20)
So, heddle, what do you think of McCain's stance that planetariums are a waste of money?

I believe McCain was referring to a particular planetarium, one that was to be funded by an earmark requested by St. Barack, for a museum merely coincidentally tied, personally, via its chairman, to Obama fundraising--which could never be a problem, because Obama has agreed to public financing of his campaign.

Oh, wait...

But don't ask me about McCain anymore. I don't particularly like McCain. I'm voting for Palin.

Date: 2008/10/08 11:56:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 08 2008,11:42)
So when McCain said we shoudn't fund "silly things like planetariums", he wasn't referring to all of them, like he clearly said?

I am referring to the discourse when people started criticizing Palin for earmarks, right after she was announced:

 
Quote

McCain stood up for Palin at other times in the interview.
He was asked about nearly $200 million in congressional pet projects Palin requested for 2009 for her state, despite her boasts that she opposes such projects and his claim that she didn't ask for any. McCain responded by criticizing Obama for seeking more than $900 million in these earmarks, by one count.

"That's nearly a million every day, every working day he's been in Congress," McCain said. "And when you look at some of the planetariums and other foolishness that he asked for, he shouldn't be saying anything about Governor Palin."



That clearly is a criticism of Obama's earmark request, not of planetariums in general.

Do you have a different reference where he was referring to "silly planetariums" generically?

Date: 2008/10/08 12:17:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 08 2008,12:09)
well heddle i guess it is that time of the month or astrological zone or whatever.  can't be rational all the time i reckon.  Palin.  pardon me for spitting on the floor.

now, when mccain bitches about spending 3 million on a genetic study of grey wolves, should we take that seriously?  those of us who consider the ESA to be worth taking seriously should not be uneasy when he vows to slash all sorts of federal programs and budgets?

NSF?

USFWS?

USFS?

NPS?

are you shitting me, or are you just pulling the liberal chains?

I don't know what the hell you are talking about. Your posts always make me think of Peter from Family Guy when he ventured into the "beyond" section of "Bed, Bath and Beyond." Feel free not to take anything McCain says seriously--I don't.

Date: 2008/10/08 12:57:10, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 08 2008,12:55)
heddle perhaps we should halt all federal spending on non-essential projects and never find out?  

what, spend 3 million dollars on decay rates?  that'ar bible dont say NUTHIN about no neutrinoes.  kill it.  damn libruls

Dude, the 'ludes--they're for medicinal purposes only.

Date: 2008/10/09 06:35:56, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 09 2008,01:29)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 08 2008,17:37)
But don't ask me about McCain anymore. I don't particularly like McCain. I'm voting for Palin.

If you don't mind me asking, is it because you think she's a good candidate or the least bad or for some third reason?

It is because I think she is a great candidate. Obama is a good candidate. McCain is a mediocre candidate. And Biden is a loser.

Date: 2008/10/09 12:09:13, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 09 2008,10:32)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 09 2008,12:35)
   
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 09 2008,01:29)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 08 2008,17:37)
But don't ask me about McCain anymore. I don't particularly like McCain. I'm voting for Palin.

If you don't mind me asking, is it because you think she's a good candidate or the least bad or for some third reason?

It is because I think she is a great candidate. Obama is a good candidate. McCain is a mediocre candidate. And Biden is a loser.

What in particular led to that conclusion? I guess what I'm going for is what quality she (and possibly Obama, to a lesser extent) possesses that the rest lack that makes you so enthusiastic.

Hmm.. I can link to some reasons I posted on Ed's blog, where people don't like me very much. I am sooo misunderstood. Good thing my wife is teh hawt, so I don't fret about being unloved!

Some reasons why I like Palin

Date: 2008/10/09 12:55:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,12:49)
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 09 2008,18:29)
I wouldn't say people there dislike you. I would say they think you turn your brain off on topics of religion and politics, and say things which are unintelligent. Lotta people here think that too.

Seconded.

Louis

Understood. What I can't understand is the definition of "turning off your brain." It seems to be:

We've given you many reasons why we don't like Palin. In spite of all this patient, remedial, free instruction, you refuse to come over to our way of thinking. Your brain must be turned off. QED.

Date: 2008/10/09 13:05:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 09 2008,13:03)
Well, you can try to make everybody else out as the bad guy, but the impression you give people is that you'd vote for a kangaroo if they taped some bibles to it.

Busted. That's why I was such a shill for Huckabee.

Oh, wait...

Date: 2008/10/09 13:19:07, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,13:12)
*snip*

My quibble with you is that you are a smart bloke who not only has fallen for the non-smart approach to politics, but that you are defending the non-smart approach to politics in a non-smart way.

The fact that a) this has been pointed out to you more than once now and b) you repeatedly fail to get it whilst projecting identity politics crap left and right (as others here are doing too btw) indicates to me that you are trying very, very hard not to get it.

I do get it--my problem, it would seem, is that i refuse to "get it."

I got that, I promise.

Date: 2008/10/09 13:26:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

By the way, could you give a nutshell definition of "Identity Politics?"

I'm taking it to mean "voting for people like yourself" of which I plead mostly guilty. I said from the beginning that I'm long past the heartbreak associated with voting on issues. To those who actually believe that Obama will bring "change" or McCain will bring "reform," I say: let me know how that works out.

Date: 2008/10/09 13:28:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 09 2008,13:13)
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 09 2008,14:05)
Busted. That's why I was such a shill for Huckabee.

Oh, wait...

James Dobson wasn't a shill for Huckabee either.

Not sure the relevance of that--but perhaps it is insight to the fact that necessary does not imply necessary and sufficient.

Date: 2008/10/09 15:15:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,13:37)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 09 2008,19:26)
Louis,

By the way, could you give a nutshell definition of "Identity Politics?"

I'm taking it to mean "voting for people like yourself" of which I plead mostly guilty. I said from the beginning that I'm long past the heartbreak associated with voting on issues. To those who actually believe that Obama will bring "change" or McCain will bring "reform," I say: let me know how that works out.

Firstly, voting on the issues isn't believing what the candidates say, it's just *slightly* more profound than that. It involves, ohhhhh I don't know, actually trying to understand the issues beyond the soundbite level. I've explained this before and you ignored it. Voting for "reform" or "change" soundbites is as much identity politics as voting for Obama because he's black or McCain because he's a republican.

Secondly, "identity politics". What? The words are too complicated for you? Fair enough. See those silly train and dog pictures people posted above? They're a symptom. It does indeed mean "voting for people mostly like yourself", or perhaps more accurately "voting for people you believe to be like you", at least in part. BTW that's an important distinction, whatever comparisons you make you have no idea if Palin is actually "like you" (for example).

What bothers me about your approach, as well as the approach of others, it's by no means a party political point, is that you have explicitly stated your vote is available to whoever make the best PR appeal to your prejudices. That is explicitly anti-intellectual. And it would be if you were voting for Obama or even a candidate I liked (my political "position" is so far out of what is available in the US or the UK as to be unrepresented). You have (again) expressly stated that you don't vote on the issues (and again, soundbites=/=issues, keep your pathetic straw men to yourself). Is it hard for you to understand that it is your method of deciding who to vote for, rather than who you are voting for, that *I* am taking issue with. What other people are taking issue with is their own business.

Get it now?

Louis

ETA for maths fuck up

Sorry Louis, I get it but I don’t believe you. To be fair, I believe that you believe your own BS. That is, I think you also vote for people who are like you. It might be that they are for what you are for, and against what you are against. You call it intellectual. I call it pattern matching. Now in my case they are “like me” in different ways. In either case they are like us, or maybe like we want to be, in ways that are important to us.

All politics is local. All politics is identity politics.

Date: 2008/10/09 16:21:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,16:05)
*snip* Bidenesque bloviation

I'll try to give you an example even you should be able to grasp: Let's say we were voting for AtBC Physicist. Your name has been put forward. I would judge you on your demonstrable abilities as a physicist, not on the fact that I find you to be intellectually vacuous when outside your narrow specialism. I don't HAVE to like you.

Louis

But we are not voting for a physicist--the example is absurd. We are hiring a physicist this year (anyone interested?) and Sarah Palin need not apply. The VP position has more far more nebulous qualifications. A better analogy would be if we are voting for an AtBC contributor to represent us at a blogging conference where post-economic-collapse bandwidth will be doled out. In which case I'd nominate Dr. GH because I believe he'd kick some serious ass on our behalf. Others might nominate Wes, because he'd be a gentleman and could persuade others to support our vital mission.

Fixed: some typos. May be more, but professorial duty calls.

Date: 2008/10/09 18:16:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,16:37)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 09 2008,22:21)
     
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 09 2008,16:05)
*snip* Bidenesque bloviation

I'll try to give you an example even you should be able to grasp: Let's say we were voting for AtBC Physicist. Your name has been put forward. I would judge you on your demonstrable abilities as a physicist, not on the fact that I find you to be intellectually vacuous when outside your narrow specialism. I don't HAVE to like you.

Louis

But we are not voting for a physicist--the example is absurd. We are hiring a physicist this year (anyone interested?) and Sarah Palin need not apply. The VP position has more far more nebulous qualifications. A better analogy would be if we are voting for an AtBC contributor to represent us at a blogging conference where post-economic-collapse bandwidth will be doled out. In which case I'd nominate Dr. GH because I believe he'd kick some serious ass on our behalf. Others might nominate Wes, because he'd be a gentleman and could persuade others to support our vital mission.

Fixed: some typos. May be more, but professorial duty calls.

So you ignore the substance of an argument and focus (mistakenly) on the flawed elements of a statedly simplistic analogy, with another insult in place of argument too I note.

Epic fail on your part again Heddle.

The point of the analogy was not that we were voting for a representative or a physicist, but that one can make the decision on who to vote for regardless of the likeableness of the candidate. I'd have thought even you could understand that.

Louis

ETA: I find it more than telling that you defend your anti-intellectual approach to your democratic responsibilities with similarly anti-intellectual lack of argumentation. The fact that you had to edit in your "professorial duties" is amusing. Are you that insecure?

I didn't ignore the substance of your argument; I couldn't find any. It was all yada, yada, yada.

And my analogy fit better than you give it credit for--there is no "correct" representative, Wes or Dr. GH--but one of them will appeal over the other to each rational AtBC voter. You'll either like Wes's civilized approach, or you'll like Dr. GH's take-no-prisoners approach.

My "professorial duty" edit meant that I had to go teach a class--I teach modeling and sim 5:30-6:45 EST, and I wouldn't be around to respond, immediately, to your subsequent post. This, Your Logic-ness, you take as a sign of "insecurity." What-ever. You've sure got that rational, analytical approach down pat.

Date: 2008/10/10 03:58:31, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 09 2008,21:01)
Is this the start of another Great Depression?

I told my students last night they'll be able to bore their grandkids with comments about how pampered they are and stories about living through the greatest depression. They laughed. A little.

Date: 2008/10/10 10:45:10, Link
Author: dheddle
And from the "There's the apple, where the hell is the tree?" department:

A gift to y'all.

Date: 2008/10/10 14:34:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 10 2008,14:21)
From the Borowitz Report: Palin blasts Obama for his ties to the Weather Channel!    
Quote
"It may sound like she spouting idiocy, but there's a method to her madness," said Tracy Klugian, a Republican strategist.  "She's speaking to her base."

I knew it!

That explains this.

Grr... only antichrist would mess with the weather like this. Go get 'im, Sarah.

Date: 2008/10/10 15:15:40, Link
Author: dheddle
[Louis + Erasmus, FCD]
I wouldn't know, since I am not even a RINO.
[/Louis + Erasmus, FCD]

I hate when that happens.

Date: 2008/10/13 08:23:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote
Bob O.H,

*snip*
You can do that when Biden quits tomorrow, to be replaced by k.e.

If Biden quits  and is replaced by k.e., I'll switch my vote. k.e. is the only potential VP candidate cooler that Sarah Palin.

DPH, VIP (Vote Identity Politics)
Self Appointed President, JanineTurner2012

Date: 2008/10/13 09:00:02, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 13 2008,08:42)
dheddle: How does one vote for a VP?

1. Vote on the presidential candidate hoping he/she croaks before his/her term in office is over?
2. Vote for the VP directly?
3. ?
4. Profit!

The same way one votes for President. It's like this:

I'll be in the polling line after 72 ACORN registrants. Which won't take long, because that means just one actual body. Let's just hope its one of the rare living members of the human species registered by ACORN, and not a corpse, a cat (they are notoriously slow creatures when it comes to voting), or a Bohemian mine worker. I won't be wearing a Palin button, for fear of encountering enlightened, intellectual, educated, non-Identity-Voters such as these.

When I  get to the ballot, it will read something along the lines of "Electors for President and Vice President of the United States" and one of the choices will be John McCain (Arizona) and Sarah Palin (Alaska). I'll mark that one.

Date: 2008/10/13 09:23:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 13 2008,09:10)
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 13 2008,09:00)
The same way one votes for President. It's like this:

I'll be in the polling line after 72 ACORN registrants. Which won't take long, because that means just one actual body.

You know Dave, for someone who spends as much time as you do over at Ed Brayton's tree fort, you seem rather impervious to the various ACORN posts he has made.  Or is Ed just part of the conspiracy?

I didn't read any of Ed's posts on ACORN. I didn't even think about ACORN much until the last week. I've been following the links from Drudge to various reports. And today, while at the gym at 0-dark-hundred-hours, I saw an interview with some high-level ACORN muckity-muck in which she said, with a straight face, that ACORN can be both non-partisan and yet endorse Obama.

Teh stupid...it hurts so much...

Date: 2008/10/13 13:43:54, Link
Author: dheddle
It appears that there is, oh, a 99% chance that "change" is coming and a 1% chance that "reform" is coming.

I don't believe either. I'll stick to good 'ole divinely inspired scripture. There's nothing new under the sun.

Date: 2008/10/13 14:46:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 13 2008,14:32)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 13 2008,19:43)
It appears that there is, oh, a 99% chance that "change" is coming and a 1% chance that "reform" is coming.

I don't believe either. I'll stick to good 'ole divinely inspired scripture. There's nothing new under the sun.

I think you enjoy playing the little contrarian a little bit too much since the only thing you're actually doing is drive-by linking and little to no discussion.

Do you stand by the text in the video you linked? Do you consider booing and rude gestures the same as throwing people to wild animals and/or murdering them by the millions?

Here's my take on the people that made the video: How fucking sheltered does one have to be to make comparisons like that? Utterly pathetic.

I don't know what your point is. Nor does the quote seem to match your comment. I don't "stand by" anything in that video other than the fact that it proves there are jackasses on both sides of the aisle. Obama supporters can be as rude, stupid, belligerent, ignorant, and crass as lowlifes from other groups. That was my point.

steve s often produces tiny posts which just link to a story --which I think is fine. Curious, though, do you accuse him of drive-by linking?

Date: 2008/10/13 15:37:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 13 2008,14:56)
       
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 13 2008,20:46)
I don't know what your point is. Nor does the quote seem to match your comment. I don't "stand by" anything in that video other than the fact that it proves there are jackasses on both sides of the aisle. Obama supporters can be as rude, stupid, belligerent, ignorant, and crass as lowlifes from other groups. That was my point.

People are assholes, is that supposed to be news to anyone?

There's posting links and then there's posting links and ignoring the ensuing discussion, don't you think?

         
Quote (Video @ Youtube)

FACT: The number of middle fingers in a "progressive" crowd is directly proportional to the number of PhD degrees in the ten-block radius.

FACT: Islamic radicals would be more welcome on the Upper West Side than American patriots.

The "liberals" always extend their sympathy for being bullying and rejected... not to the American patriots... but to America's enemies.

"Liberal" elites believe that all ideologies are morally equal... except the one that supports capitalism and individual liberties... ... the only ideology that makes their lavish lifestyles possible. ... and so they're driving it out of town, tarred and feathered.

Republicans in New York: less equal than others.

When leftist politicians are promising you to bridge the divide... ... they are "selling you a bridge."

The leftist idea of unity is, and has always been... THE ELIMINATION OF DISSENT


The above is text from the video. What do you think of it?

I don't agree with six out of seven. However, the last one strikes a chord. The Obama campaign has indeed displayed a tendency, alarming to this libertarian-leaning citzen, to go after media that are presenting views they don't like. They sicced the blood-sucking-lawyers, who rather frighteningly brought up the third-rail "license" threat, on stations that aired the NRA ad. And they use email lists for intimidation purposes, encouraging folks to call radio stations that are airing a view they aren't fond of. On that issue they are real assholes, and had this come out before the Biden pick and the FISA and campaign finance flip-flops, that would have been sufficient for me to drop my support.

Date: 2008/10/13 16:49:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 13 2008,15:59)
dheddle:

 
Quote

And they use email lists for intimidation purposes, encouraging folks to call radio stations that are airing a view they aren't fond of.


David, did the Phylogenists list never include discussion of making sure IDC advocates were represented in call-ins to radio talk shows taking up evolution and "intelligent design" creationism issues, or other ways of coordinating "grass roots" responses online or in the media? Or did you tell them that they too were being "real assholes" for using an email list in that way?

Personally, I don't see what the problem is in using email as an effective organizational tool. But maybe I'm misreading what point was being made originally. Can you clarify that?

Of course it is just my opinion, but I find it unsavory that campaign email lists are used, for example in the case Sanley Kurtz, not just to voice displeasure but in an attempt to have his comments (connecting Obama to Ayers) go unaired. I see that as substantively different than citizens, on their own initialtive, calling a station to voice displeasure.

And I would be consistent about this. If the McCain campaign used its mailing list to pressure a station into canceling an appearance by a left-leaning investigative reporter, I'd be just as outraged.

In that circumstance, would everyone here be just as blasé?

Color me skeptical.

Date: 2008/10/13 18:59:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 13 2008,18:42)
David,

If they were advocating prior restraint, yes, I'm against that. If you can give me a link to a news article laying that out, I'd be happy to make a blog post registering that complaint.

Here is a link to the Kurtz instance.

If you Google juicy excerpts from the campaign email, you can find more accounts of the same incident. For example, this one.

Date: 2008/10/14 06:39:43, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 14 2008,02:41)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 13 2008,22:49)
[SNIP]

In that circumstance, would everyone here be just as blasé?

Color me skeptical.

The point you miss with your broad brush is that not EVERYONE is blasé. Some of us find these tactics disgusting no matter who does them.

Again, in your desire to play little tribal chimpy games you miss the clear objections I've made over and over to precisely this sort of underhanded politicking. So you can be as "sceptical" as you like, it's not like your "scepticism" (read: slanderous whining fueled by your inappropriate persecution complex) has any relevance.

Louis

Gee Louis, you don't have to get snippy about it!

I hereby grant you the homage you deserve and crave as a charter member of the highly selective club of True Democrats.* Those rare electors of this planet who study position papers only (just the facts, ma’am) to determine their vote. The noble practitioners of a higher gnosis who, alone, are blessedly immune to any emotional appeal, shallow platitudes, inflaming hyperbole, and identity politics.

*The group is mostly European, which explains why Jews and the sons and daughters of Turkish guest workers have been elected Chancellor in Germany; the children of Moroccan and Algerian refugees have been elected President of France; and many from the former British African and Asian colonies have risen to PM in England—well ahead of America’s belated election of a minority to her highest office.

Date: 2008/10/14 07:37:44, Link
Author: dheddle
A few pages back people were asking whether there was even one example of a vote cast by a bogus registrant courtesy of ACORN.

Yes, there is.

Date: 2008/10/14 08:14:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 14 2008,07:32)
*snip* exercise in pomposity

No Louis, I am not Republican, nor am I whining, nor do I miss your point (such as it is), but rather I am mocking you.

It is in fact you who has repeatedly missed the boat, which is that, in this country anyway, voting the issues has been a loser of a proposition. Now, [hypothetically speaking] should I vote for the Obama whom I voted for, in the primary, after a detailed analysis of the issues, because he said, sensibly I thought, that Hillary's plan to place a moratorium on foreclosures was a utter disaster, or the Obama who now thinks it's a peachy keen idea? Which position will he take when elected? Who the hell knows?

And you missed my point entirely--that is the identity of the President is, to a very large extent, what makes him successful. Compare Kennedy to Johnson, Reagan to Carter, Clinton to either Bush.

I am mocking your position that a purely intellectual approach to the election, with no regard to the personalities but only the issues, is a viable strategy. It misses the obvious--that they all lie and flip-flop--and more importantly it misses the more subtle personality dynamics. The "hard work" of a detailed analysis of the issues--down to the minutia, is a complete an utter waste of time. Today we have the Republican candidate favoring a Brobdingnagian government, and a Democratic candidate with a penchant for curbing individual liberties. In the face os such absurdity, almost everything else is in the noise.

If Obama is a successful President it will, to a large part, not be because of issues--but rather because a majority of the country rallies around him. If that happens, then he'll be able to do things that were not even discussed during the election. Clinton's popularity allowed him to, almost inconceivably given he was a Democrat, purge the welfare roles. On the other hand, a big issue from Clinton's campaign, health care, was more or less abandoned. Health care after Clinton was not much different than before.

As to whether you "might have to reassess" your impression of me--who cares? Are you trying to be a right-out-of-central-casting, stereotypical,  self-righteous, pompous ass?

Date: 2008/10/14 08:46:12, Link
Author: dheddle
Albatrossity2,

I have no problem with the charter of ACORN. Who could be against getting people registered? And I do understand that ACORN must turn in all registration cards--which is why I don't think the occasional "Mickey Mouse" registration is a problem.

The problem is that ACORN is giving (me, at least) the impression that they are leveraging the fact that they must turn in all registrations. By some (in my estimation credible accounts) their workers are encouraging multiple registrations. The problem is not so much that one person who registered 72 times will try to vote 72 times. Or that a cat or Mickey Mouse or the Dallas Cowboys (all registered by ACORN in Las Vegas) will vote as registered. The problem is that multiple registrations floods the system and overwhelms local election boards who are responsible for verification.

Reform is clearly needed here. More responsibility must fall to the hands of those registering voters. Voter registration should not be amateur hour. ACORN has abused the spirit of the system, and then hides behind "sorry, we must turn in all registrations." If community organizations want to do it, that's perfectly fine. But they should be required to train their workers properly, and proper identification should be required. The fraction of fraudulent registrations that make it to the election board needs to be reduced.

As for ACORN saying that they are cooperating--maybe they are, but really, what else could they say?

Date: 2008/10/14 09:05:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote
Louis,
Did I say the president's identity was 100% irrelevant? Nope.



Well, what percentage did you imply when you wrote:

Quote
Try to understand that I utterly eschew the person I am voting for and focus only on the issues


Does "only on the issues" mean 99 and 44/100%? 75%? 50%?

Date: 2008/10/14 09:25:42, Link
Author: dheddle
carlsonjok,

I have read it and it is nothing new. I've been hearing for a few days now (from ACORN) about what a crackerjack job ACORN is doing policing itself. But generally we do not accept an organization, facing serious allegations, to dismiss concerns by a wave of the hand and promises of self-oversight. ACORN needs to be investigated thoroughly--and if problems are verified, reforms must be enacted.  

Likewise, all credible allegations of voter suppression must be investigated. If the GOP says: "oh, don't worry, we make sure our operatives are not involved in voter suppression" would that satisfy you?

Date: 2008/10/14 10:39:35, Link
Author: dheddle
carlsonjok

 
Quote
Of course, Dave, but before you consider yourself vindicated for having a drawn a moral equivalence and, thus, avoided the actual question, let me ask you something. Wouldn't you agree that actual, demonstrated acts of self-policing are morally superior to the mere assurance that such self-policing will take place?  Or do you doubt that ACORN, and thus Ed, is being honest about it?


I doubt ACORN is being honest about it. And no, I wouldn't agree that "demonstrated acts of self-policing are morally superior to the mere assurance that such self-policing will take place?" at least not substantively. Why are all these states investigating ACORN? Because of serious concerns.

What I don't understand is why anyone could be opposed to such an investigation. Voter registration should be taken seriously.

Albatrossity2,

   
Quote
Re the problem of "too much work" for overworked election boards - would you have the same response if a political party (say, the GOP) had a voter registration campaign and inundated the election board with 17,000 new registrations? Do you think that if this happened, there might be a few bad apples in that batch as well?


Yes indeed, which is why the system is in need of reform. Proper, valid identification should be required. Those registering should be well-trained, and accountable for a good faith effort to verify address and identity. I don't care which side does it. In our zealousness to make it simple to register we have created a monster. Let's register people, but lets do it in a way where the system is not gamed by either side.

   
Quote
In short, you have failed to point to any failures of ACORN that could be avoided.


But I did. Checking valid photo IDs should eliminate the registration of Mickey Mouse.

Date: 2008/10/14 10:59:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 14 2008,10:50)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 14 2008,10:39)
           
Quote
In short, you have failed to point to any failures of ACORN that could be avoided.


But I did. Checking valid photo IDs should eliminate the registration of Mickey Mouse.

Sure. It's interesting that this has become a campaign against "making it too easy to register". That is a far cry from the original accusations of "stealing the election", don't you think?

Funny how you continually avoid discussion of Palin's rhetoric...

Because I am not talking about Palin's rhetoric, and that has been the issue as I framed it--in fact it is totally irrelevant. I never stated the election was being stolen, I stated that ACORN needs to be investigated.

I don't agree with Palin's rhetoric. Or Biden's. Or McCain's. Or Obama's. My only response to questions of Palin's rhetoric will be to do what I have been doing--present similar examples from the other side to show the problem is universal. For crying out loud, the Obama campaign at one time painted Bill Clinton (Bill Clinton!) as a racist. That's a friggin' Nobel Prize in rhetoric.

Date: 2008/10/14 11:01:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 14 2008,10:54)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 14 2008,10:39)
         
Quote
In short, you have failed to point to any failures of ACORN that could be avoided.


But I did. Checking valid photo IDs should eliminate the registration of Mickey Mouse.

I heard that 10% of the population (of course those are more likely to be poor and non-white) don't have such ID.

So lets cut out 10% of potential voters because almost nobody has actually cast a fraudulent vote? Disenfranchise 10% of voters because 0.000000000000000000001% is "fraudulent".

I don't think so. I can see how the idea might attract supporters of the party those 10% won't be voting for however.

Yes and it's nutso that photo-ID is not required. My autistic son has a state-issued photo ID. Anyone can get one. It's not too much to ask.

Date: 2008/10/14 12:42:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 14 2008,11:15)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 14 2008,15:05)
   
Quote
Louis,
Did I say the president's identity was 100% irrelevant? Nope.



Well, what percentage did you imply when you wrote:

     
Quote
Try to understand that I utterly eschew the person I am voting for and focus only on the issues


Does "only on the issues" mean 99 and 44/100%? 75%? 50%?

Try to read  (and quote) things in context.

Also, yes, *I* try to follow the issues and eschew the person simply because I know how vulnerable I am to a slick sales pitch etc (as admitted before). That's very different from the claim that identity is irrelevant in politics. It should be, it isn't do you understand the difference?

EPIC READING FAIL on your part yet again Heddle. Will you never tire of your straw?

Louis

In other words: oops, I did write that, but let's pretend I didn't, by claiming it was out of context, though it wasn't. Toss in a another insult, and nobody will notice.

Date: 2008/10/14 18:01:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 14 2008,17:39)
Christopher Buckley avalanched in hate mail, leaves National Review

It is, I suppose,  a question of who you want to believe. But NRO paints a less dramatic picture.

Date: 2008/10/15 09:20:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 15 2008,09:03)
Wow, Denyse gets all superficial about computer science!

Besides which, Turing's "imitation game" as originally described did not take the step of having the computer being distinguished from a human, but rather the more specific class of human female. The bar could be substantially lowered if one offered a modified Turing test that only had to distinguish between a computer and Denyse O'Leary.

Somehow, I get the feeling O'Leary has never interacted with Eliza, which is pretty darn simple so far as interactive response systems go.

Edited: iBCode, not HTML.

Somewhat OT, but since you mentioned Eliza...

I once (five, six years ago) wrote a messaging system in JAVA. To test it I added a chat client. To test its throughput I added an open source Eliza JAVA implementation to the chat client--that is the client could be put into "Eliza mode." Then I started three clients, two in Eliza mode, and from the third I primed the pump with some innocuous comment like "I hate my best friend's plaid sports coat." The Elizas both offered a response to that statement, but then began to analyze each other's analysis. Let that run for an hour, and one is asking the other why she wanted to have sex with her uncle's Cadillac.

The system was able to handle two Eliza's, but three brought it to its knees.

Date: 2008/10/15 11:47:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 15 2008,11:31)
For David, my take on the Stanley Kurtz incident.

Thanks Wes.

Date: 2008/10/15 16:46:42, Link
Author: dheddle
I have come to despise the Obama campaign and many of its supporters for playing the race card so often. When they painted Clinton a racist, I thought it was absurd but in a funny sorta way. But I have now seen it played so often that I am desensitized to any legitimate claim of racism. It reminds me of the first time I went to San Francisco. Came out of my hotel and there was a beggar. I gave some money. Walking to the Moscone Center, I encountered another beggar on the next corner. Some more money. Then another and another and another and pretty soon I didn’t even see them any more.

Here we have another example, the consummate jackass Murtha saying Western PA is racist, but, no fears, Obama should win.

I wonder if this will continue in the coming Obama presidency? Of course we know you’ll support the president on this bill…after all, you’re not a racist, are you?

This boils down to an argument by intimidation. If there is a Bradley effect, it will be impossible to determine how much is due to actual racism and how much is due to people simply afraid of being called a racist.

Bastards.

Date: 2008/10/15 18:51:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 15 2008,17:16)
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 15 2008,16:46)
I have come to despise the Obama campaign and many of its supporters for playing the race card so often. When they painted Clinton a racist, I thought it was absurd but in a funny sorta way. But I have now seen it played so often that I am desensitized to any legitimate claim of racism.

Good for you, Dave, stick to your guns on this one. And what ever you do, don't look here and, by all means possible, don't watch the video.

Murtha didn't say "there are racists in Western PA, and here is an example." That would qualify as a "duh." He painted an entire region with a broad brush.

Date: 2008/10/15 18:54:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 15 2008,17:44)
Dave? A new concept you might want to look into?

P*R*O*J*E*C*T*I*O*N.

Ooh, a variant of the same technique!

You have learned well, Obi-Won.

Date: 2008/10/15 19:00:12, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 15 2008,17:44)
What on earth is your point here? You're angry that actual racists are being intimidated into voting for Obama for fear of being called racists?

No, I don't care if you take actual racists out and shoot them like vermin.

What I find unsavory, but I'm just an overly sensitive fellow, is that "racism" is more and more (or maybe I just didn't notice before since I didn't pay much attention pre-Palin) a catch-all explanation for everything that could possibly go wrong for Obama, including the unthinkable possibility of a Democrat voting for McCain.

Date: 2008/10/15 19:09:15, Link
Author: dheddle
More Racism!

Registrations must be validated!

The Revolution will not be televised, at least not in HD!

Murtha reacts: "Our neighbor to the west is a racist state!"

Date: 2008/10/15 19:18:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 15 2008,19:12)
Dave, dave dave. Dave:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DmYLrxR0Y8

OK, to add some further jocularity I have to say I found this hilarious.

HT Pharyngula

Date: 2008/10/15 20:54:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 15 2008,20:15)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 15 2008,20:00)
 
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 15 2008,17:44)
What on earth is your point here? You're angry that actual racists are being intimidated into voting for Obama for fear of being called racists?

No, I don't care if you take actual racists out and shoot them like vermin.

What I find unsavory, but I'm just an overly sensitive fellow, is that "racism" is more and more (or maybe I just didn't notice before since I didn't pay much attention pre-Palin) a catch-all explanation for everything that could possibly go wrong for Obama, including the unthinkable possibility of a Democrat voting for McCain.

And I'm sure you are also refusing to vote for Palin since everything bad said about her is clearly just because of sexism. Right?

Uh, no. The accurate comparison is that I wouldn't imply that someone who isn't voting for Palin is sexist. I wouldn't say, Murtha-like, "Southwestern Wyoming is sexist, but, don't worry, McCain and Palin will still win the state."

Date: 2008/10/16 11:17:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 16 2008,10:01)
I know several black people who are convinced that 'they won't let Obama win'. Who am I to say they're wrong?

Sombody rational, I hope. Who are "they"? Rove and a team of ninjas? The researchers at the Pentegon who invented HIV? The Jews who brought down the WTC?

You ought to say to them: Are you friggin' nuts?

Date: 2008/10/16 11:45:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 16 2008,11:40)
http://news.yahoo.com/s....ama_odd
   
Quote
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's biggest bookmaker Paddy Power said Thursday it would pay out early more than 1 million euros (782,776 pounds) on bets that Barack Obama will be the next U.S. president, three weeks ahead of the election.
ADVERTISEMENT

The Dublin-based bookmaker said it made the "unprecedented decision" to pay on bets taken so far, following Wednesday's final campaign debate between Obama and his Republican rival John McCain, which polls judged the Democrat to have won.

"We declare this race well and truly over and congratulate all those who backed Obama," Power said.

I saw that--it makes no sense whatsoever. Suspending betting makes perfect sense--but hold on to the payouts as long as you can and earn some interest. There must be an explanation. Am I missing something obvious?

Date: 2008/10/16 13:01:31, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 16 2008,12:49)
A racist party, born out of the ashes of a movement in the 80s whose name roughly translated into "keep sweden swedish" are in some polls edging closely to the 4% needed to get into parliament. Granted, they've had to put a slight "wink wink nudge nudge" face on their racism, but I fear a resurgence of naked racist rhetoric like we've seen in for example austria and the netherlands (and here in the 90's as well).

That made me think of this:


- Come in, my child, join the party.
 
- Let me see, you would be from Austria. Am I right?
                 
- No, I am Inga from Sweden.

- Sweden? But you're wearing Lederhosen.
 
- Je, for sure, from Sweden. Please, help me with my rucksack.


 
And now I can't stop.

Date: 2008/10/16 17:56:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 16 2008,17:06)
Well, as someone around here recently said, brains in a political candidate are overrated:

Let's hope so.

Date: 2008/10/17 06:31:06, Link
Author: dheddle
I'll have a donut with my Bradley Effect, please!

Just stopped at 7-11 for some coffee. Mostly minorities inside. The large cups: one stack of McCain cups, and one of Obama cups. I don’t want them to think I’m a racist—what should I do??

This did just happen, and I’m partially serious—that very thought crossed my mind. I’m just saying that I can appreciate the reality of the Bradley effect.  Interesting dynamic.

Date: 2008/10/17 10:00:13, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (drew91 @ Oct. 17 2008,09:45)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 17 2008,06:31)
I don’t want them to think I’m a racist—what should I do??

They already think you're a racist, so just grab whichever cup is closer and get on your way.

Oh yeah, and quit drinking 7-11 coffee.  That's just nasty. :p

Only the white liberals. Those are the ones who scare me. Unlike that crowd, the African Americans seem to grasp the concept that someone might vote for the other guy without being a racist.

As for the coffee--at O-dark-hundred-hours, 7-11 is the best shot. At least around here.

Date: 2008/10/17 11:06:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 17 2008,10:26)
Who replaced heddle with DaveScot, really?

That’s a curious comment. Let’s probe it a bit.

My original comment of the Bradley effect was an observation. That in the 7-11, I felt just a twinge of something like: “They aren’t going to like me if I take the McCain cup.” It was a strange, fleeting feeling that gave me some small insight into the Bradley effect. It was, in some sense a scientific observation. And it doesn’t seem to me the type of admission one would hear from DaveScot. I believe he would be more in the “I took four McCain cups up and dared them to say anything.”

After that, there were four comments.

steve s
Quote
You should, um, shut the f*%$ up?


drew 91
Quote
They already think you're a racist


TPH:  
Quote
They already think you're racist


dheddle  
Quote
Only the white liberals.


The first one I don’t get, because I wasn’t actually speaking in the 7-11. Of the remaining three, it is my belief that all are tongue in cheek.

However, superficially— only two of the last three, to the hypersensitive soul reading with  a YEC-like literal hermeneutic, have racist overtones. Those would be the two that suggest any minorities in the 7-11 will automatically assume a white man coming in for coffee is a racist. Although I am from Western PA, so perhaps Murtha had alerted them that I now live in Yorktown and might stroll by.

So where is the similarity?

Date: 2008/10/17 12:09:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Yo Arden,

What's up with this?

Isn't SCOTUS part of the "they" who might steal the election?

The truth is out there!

Date: 2008/10/21 17:21:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Some more Obama, the son of God Praise and Worship. It will bring you to enraptured tears. May Obama's countenance shine upon thee!

Date: 2008/10/21 19:20:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 21 2008,18:28)
   
Quote
10 October 2008
The Messiah is Absolutely Speaking
DaveScot



The only people I've heard refer to Obama as some kind of religious object of worship are Davescot, Louis Farrakhan, and Dave Heddle.

Hmm. I can think of two reasons.

1) We are the only three people creeped out by the video I linked to. Or this one.  Or this one.

2) For different reasons, we all are against Obama. Despite these differences, we have formed an alliance. We got together, smoked crack, and hatched a scheme to attack Obama by making false allegations that his candidacy has resulted, among some of his followers, in a Messiah cult.

The second option is, of course, much more plausible.

Date: 2008/10/22 10:36:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (KCdgw @ Oct. 22 2008,10:04)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 21 2008,19:20)
     
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 21 2008,18:28)
           
Quote
10 October 2008
The Messiah is Absolutely Speaking
DaveScot



The only people I've heard refer to Obama as some kind of religious object of worship are Davescot, Louis Farrakhan, and Dave Heddle.

Hmm. I can think of two reasons.

1) We are the only three people creeped out by the video I linked to. Or this one.  Or this one.


That last video was a recording of a simple middle school stepline routine. Steplines are a popular activity among African American students (especially in college), and in no way militant or creepy. And what were these kids talking about? Being inspired to become doctors and lawyers and stuff. Anyone creeped out by that needs to put on some pants and get out of their mom's basement every now and then.

KC

I didn't write that it was "militant" I wrote that it is creepy, and it is. And you failed to mention their invocation of the name "Obama" in their pledges, instead making is sound as if they are merely saying, "I want to be a doctor when I grow up."

A group of teenagers in military garb, expressing fealty to McCain while engaged in close order drill, would, I'm sure, generate from you the same nonchalant response.

Date: 2008/10/22 11:10:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (KCdgw @ Oct. 22 2008,11:02)
Heddle writes:

   
Quote
A group of teenagers in military garb, expressing fealty to McCain while engaged in close order drill, would, I'm sure, generate from you the same nonchalant response.


It's a stepline, as I said. Paint it as scary as you like, but to anyone familiar with steplines, its no scarier (and profoundly more informed) than this pro McCain school video.

KC

No, I didn't say it was scary anymore than I said it was militant. Please stop trying to insert code words into my comments. It wasn't scary at all. In fact, it was kind of funny. In a creepy sort of way.

Date: 2008/10/22 12:39:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 22 2008,12:22)
Will White People Riot if Obama Wins?

Of course, some have promised a race war if Obama loses.


If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!

No fear mongering here. Please move along.

Date: 2008/10/22 13:41:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Spottedwind @ Oct. 22 2008,13:24)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 22 2008,13:39)
       
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 22 2008,12:22)
Will White People Riot if Obama Wins?

Of course, some have promised a race war if Obama loses.


If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!

No fear mongering here. Please move along.

Hey Heddle...why don't you follow up and read her next column?

http://www.philly.com/philly....ca.html

Her point (inelegently expressed) was not that she was calling for one, but that the anger and frustration that many minorities have over racial and economic injustice will bubble over if Obama were to lose.  That the 'racial harmony' we like to pretend that we have is more fragile than we realize, if existant at all.

I touched on this idea earlier in the thread, specifically talking about how people would react if Obama lost and if there was suspect happenings a la 2000.

It isn't fear mongering but looking at the frustration that is present and trying to guage it.  I said in that post, that people have invested too much in Obama and if he were to lose, I think the crash would be hard.  And one of the possible outcomes (especially people felt that it was stolen) would be anger.  Remember the L.A. riots?  Yes, some of that was just people taking advantage of a situation, but there was anger and frustation and then the spark.

With some minority Obama supporters you get a double dose.  They are angry with the path this country has taken for the past 8 years and they are tired of the racism that is in their lives.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not excusing them or justifying every one of their complaints, but pointing out that under the 'hope' that Obama brings, there is fear, there is anger, there is frustration.  You may not feel it.  You may not see it.  Most people don't.  And hell, it might not even be justifiable, but it's there.  We can ignore how someone feels and be surprised when something happens, or we can try to understand why they feel what they feel, and then decide if anything can be done about it.


I did read the follow-up, and  I didn't say she called for it. And I didn't say she was wrong. It was in response to the article that steve s linked to, which presented an opposite view, if I read it correctly. That article claimed that it was a double standard to worry about AAs rioting if Obama loses and not worry about the Mashed Potato crowd rioting if Obama wins. His example of MLK was especially bad--cities were burning after he was assassinated.

I think Fatimah Ali is probably closer to the truth. But that's just a guess. But to play it safe, if McCain pulls off the upset, I’ll tell my autistic son, who rides his bike everyday, to stay home on Wednesday.

(By the way, I've actually been in several race riots. Not fun at all.)

Date: 2008/10/22 19:34:40, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 22 2008,16:22)
 
Quote
I think it's important that we all guard each other. (Incidentally, this is why Heddle's tu quoque shitola annoys the arse off me, it's utterly unnecessary, we already KNOW this nonsense exists. Heddle's favourite fallacy of the moment is a distraction from the issues, and little more than petulant whining)


Erm yes.

I think Heddle's political arguments these days pretty much boil down to this:

1) Heddle: "I am voting for X based on the following logical fallacy or bizarre criterion!"

2) America-Hating Secular Humanist: "Heddle, what's wrong with you? That's a ridiculous logical fallacy! Plus, I can't believe you'd base your decision on Y!"

3) Heddle: "Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well, I found this example of a LIBERAL doing the same thing!!!"

4) A.H.S.H.: "a) it's not really the same thing, and b) do you really want to BRAG about making your decision some way that you disapprove of when liberals do it???"

(insert random comment about people worshipping Obama here. Start again at Step 3.)

But you have to admit that sometimes I do substitute a Biden gaffe for an Obama Praise & Worship insertion. Call it the Delaware gambit.

Gird your loins boys, gird your loins.

Date: 2008/10/24 07:48:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (George @ Oct. 24 2008,07:35)
I posted off my absentee ballot yesterday.  You might like to know that I voted for truth, freedom and the American way.

But Ronald Reagan is dead. What a wasted vote. On second thought, I like the symbolism.

Edited to make my not-so-funny joke look a little less not-so-funny. Just a little.

Date: 2008/10/24 08:17:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Gosh Wes, lighten up! Every indication is the civil liberties will do just fine under Obama. (*vurp*)

And have some sympathy. I am  a man who has just looked into the abyss, and the abyss looked back, laughing.

My World, Turned Upside Down

Edit: typo

Date: 2008/10/24 12:24:07, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 24 2008,10:26)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 24 2008,08:17)
Gosh Wes, lighten up! Every indication is the civil liberties will do just fine under Obama. (*vurp*)

And have some sympathy. I am  a man who has just looked into the abyss, and the abyss looked back, laughing.

My World, Turned Upside Down

Edit: typo

Your world may get even more topsy-turvy, David.  According to this article in the WaPo (yeah, I know, biased liberal media source), NASCAR sponsorship (80% of the income for most NASCAR teams) may dry up because of the bad economy. You might be reduced to watching go-cart races at your local county fair...

I'm counting on Obama to fix that. One part of his $900B spending increase is a little known plan to Nationalize NASCAR and place in under the control of a new Ministry of Sports, Well Being, Clean Nappies, and Haberdasheries. No more sponsorship woes. The People have a right to NASCAR.

Of course, speeds will be limited to 55 mph for the good of the people. And only one race a year. And everyone is a winner. And all the fuel must be derived from corn and raw sewage. And there will be a 200% tax "revenue enhancer" on all corn dogs. And all coffee must be sold at a temperature between the federally approved guidelines of 96.71 and 98.34 degrees Celsius. And for each regular pit stall, there must be a pit stall with one of those handicapped logos. And if any of the reporters say something negative about a driver, like "he's just not going into the turn hard enough" the driver must, under the Fairness Doctrine, be given equal air time to rebut the charges. And the teams' radio communications will be subject to FISA wiretaps. And...

Date: 2008/10/24 13:32:40, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 24 2008,12:32)
Well, one thing that doesn't need to change is the drivers having to turn to the left.

Good one!

Date: 2008/10/25 09:23:33, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Gunthernacus @ Oct. 25 2008,08:52)
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/10/24/palin-fruit-flies/

     
Quote
This morning, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) gave her first policy speech urging the federal government to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), “a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation.” In the speech, Palin cited the need to do more for children with disabilities such as autism...

[Palin:] Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

An FtK style attack on science that she doesn't understand and can't get instant gratification/results from. "I kid you not"?  It's like reading an FtK blog.
     
Quote
Palin did not specify what fruit fly research earmark she was referring to (presumably a grant for olive fruit fly research), but she is apparently unaware that scientific research with fruit flies has led to valuable discoveries that have boosted autism research, as a study at the University of North Carolina demonstrated last year

Links at the linked.  Also, the IDEA acronym leads to all sorts of Sal jokes, but I haven't had enough coffee yet.

Crosspost of a comment I made on Pharyngula:

What Palin said is not so crazy. Scarce scientific research funds should be allocated on merit, based on a peer review of competing proposals. Apply for grants, make a scientific case, receive your grant. That's how it should work. Was this an earmark that went directly to the researcher or research team, or was it to some state agency that then invited grant proposals? If its the former, she has a point.

Date: 2008/10/25 11:37:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 25 2008,11:27)
Hmmmmm perhaps I shouldn't post after 6 pints of Guinness and a loss to Cardiff Blues by the Tigers. It seems to make me mean.

Pfffff it matters not.

Louis

No, it seems to make you even more stupid.

Date: 2008/10/25 11:42:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Gunthernacus @ Oct. 25 2008,10:25)
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 25 2008,10:23)
Crosspost of a comment I made on Pharyngula:

What Palin said is not so crazy. Scarce scientific research funds should be allocated on merit, based on a peer review of competing proposals. Apply for grants, make a scientific case, receive your grant. That's how it should work. Was this an earmark that went directly to the researcher or research team, or was it to some state agency that then invited grant proposals? If its the former, she has a point.

"Scarce scientific research funds" - exactly.  Can the process for awarding research funds be improved - certainly.  If her argument is about mismanagement of funds, that argument applies to most, if not all, government spending.  Why is she handing out pitchforks and torches over "scarce scientific research funds", when there are so many other more blatant examples like, oh, $10 billion a month in Iraq - or $150,000 on designer clothes for Mrs. Hockey-mom, Jane-six-pack, Real America?  The "I kid you not" eye-rolling, as if those "ivory tower liberals elites" are the only - or even significant - ones to misuse tax payer funds, is pathetic class/culture warfare.  She flings fruit-fly research out there for ridicule when she clearly is unaware of the medical and economic benefits shows just what a vapid FtK clone she is.

Funds to Iraq, expensive wardrobes, etc-- I agree.

The narrow point is that *if* the grant for fruit-fly research used an earmark to bypass  peer review, then no matter what its merits, it deserves to be criticized. I believe all those scientists who submitted grant proposals that were not funded would likely agree. All scientific research funds, except perhaps under some extreme circumstances, should be awarded on the basis of peer review.

Date: 2008/10/25 12:23:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 24 2008,23:34)
I haven't taken a specific IQ test as an adult. If the mean scores on GREs are any guide, I do have scores above the mean for the Mensa and Four Sigma Society respondents as reported here.

I was in the honors dorm as a freshman, and there was one self-promoting woman I knew from there who was also a zoology major. She sought me out to tell me about the outstanding score she had received on her GRE, and how this would make her pick of top-flight grad school a cinch, and generally going on and on about how special her test score made her. I eventually got a word in edgewise, and asked her how she had answered a specific question from the math section of the GRE. She talked about her approach to the problem for a while, then made the connection that I had also taken the exam. "What was your score?" she asked.

I told her.

"I hate you," she said, and walked off.

I had this experience as a freshman. I was taking a huge lecture EE course and the instructor gave a killer, killer exam. When he returned them, he told us the average was 24. I had a 65. I was feeling pretty macho. I went back to the dorm and saw my extremely laid-back friend George, another physics major dabbling in EE. He was in the class, but a different recitation. Still inflated, I asked him "Hey man, howdja do on the EE exam?"

"Oh, I got 100."

Man did that ever rain on my parade.

Date: 2008/10/25 16:00:18, Link
Author: dheddle
I listened to her speech again and I concede, there is no way to put a positive spin on it.

Date: 2008/10/30 12:11:03, Link
Author: dheddle
So close but, alas, the wrong half of the ticket.

Date: 2008/10/30 17:55:13, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 30 2008,16:32)
Louis as if there were anything sort of politics but identity politics.

But you are spot on.  Nanna Nanook of the Nubile North don't love you hun.  <rolls eyes>.  

Some folks are just suckers for self-loathing, enough to suck up to cynical reactionary politics like George McGovern or Sarah Palin or Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms or Ernie Fletcher or Elizabeth Dole or what have you.

just wanted to point out that none of these fucksticks are 'like' many of us here.  i'd wager that any politician is more 'like' any other politician than they are anyone else.  self-promoting grandstanding colostomy bags.  

at least Heddle is honest about it.  Can't vote for a black guy, eh, Heddle?

Well I was going to vote for a black guy, but I guess that doesn't count. However, I have voted for two black guys. Wilder as governor of VA when I lived here before. And (somewhat embarrassed to say) Alan Keyes in a primary the first time he ran--was that 1996? He didn't seem quite so crazy then.

Date: 2008/11/03 07:49:10, Link
Author: dheddle
50 heddles, more or less. Courtesy of wikipedia.

Date: 2008/11/04 08:48:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Spottedwind @ Nov. 04 2008,07:00)
Voted

Moi oci.

Was hoping to be exit polled--I wanted to say "I voted for Sarah Palin, but that McCain fellow tagged along."

Talked to another physics faculty member who voted for Palin (and I mean that as written). I don't harbor any suspicions that we are
part of a silent majority. Just two outliers.

The writing is on the wall. In case I'm not up when it becomes official (I go to bed early) congrats to all the Obama supporters.

Date: 2008/11/05 06:29:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Just got to the lab from the gym. (When I left the gym, I noticed the sun had risen.) Usually I'm just about the only one on our wing of the lab's main office building at 7:00 am. I met a good friend, an extremely talented Moroccan physicist, a woman. She was sooo happy and told me she'd been crying. She asked me how I felt--knowing who I voted for (though we never discussed it.) I told her it was hard not to be happy at the history that had been made.

She startled me with almost the exact comment I made on here or Brayton's blog--that this could happen only in America. She used two of the same examples--she could not imagine a Moroccan leading France or a Turk in Germany.

Congratulations America.

Date: 2008/11/05 14:11:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 05 2008,13:29)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 05 2008,12:29)
Just got to the lab from the gym. (When I left the gym, I noticed the sun had risen.) Usually I'm just about the only one on our wing of the lab's main office building at 7:00 am. I met a good friend, an extremely talented Moroccan physicist, a woman. She was sooo happy and told me she'd been crying. She asked me how I felt--knowing who I voted for (though we never discussed it.) I told her it was hard not to be happy at the history that had been made.

She startled me with almost the exact comment I made on here or Brayton's blog--that this could happen only in America. She used two of the same examples--she could not imagine a Moroccan leading France or a Turk in Germany.

Congratulations America.

Odious comparisons thy name is, Heddle.

Children of "immigrant races" have been leading European nations on and off over the centuries. Obama is not a foreigner he is a native born American citizen. Count the Jewish first ministers of various nations throughout history for example.

Not only could this NOT only happen in America, it's happened elsewhere with vastly less pomp and effort. Comparing Obama to a Turkish immigrant in Germany is not comparing like with like. Maybe you should get yourself a passport and visit this little place the rest of us like to call "The Rest of The World", it might surprise you.

Louis

Louis you raging imbecile.

You will note in this case the comparison, though similar to one I have made in the past, comes from a Moroccan, a woman, Muslim, a scientist, an Obama supporter, and who, by the way, did her Ph.D. in France. She is now fairly high-ranking here at Jefferson Lab. And of course she wasn't talking about immigrants--the US has had multitudinous presidents one or few generations removed from immigrants--that would hardly be worth mentioning. She was talking about people of color. Her words to me were “only in America.” If she meant “it has only ever happened in America” then she is demonstrably correct—unless you can provide an example of a person of color elected to lead a European nation. If she meant “it could only ever happen in America,” we’ll have to wait to see if she is correct, but so far the hypothesis fits the data.

When someone of color leads a European nation, or when you say something intelligent, whichever comes first, you can take the high ground. Prior to that—get lost. You bore me to tears with your pusillanimous, self-righteous, inchoate hissy-fits.

Date: 2008/11/06 13:27:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Racism in Motorsports!

Not NASCAR, of course.

What have you people done with Sir Richard Hughes?

Date: 2008/11/07 03:52:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Louis,

Brayton has a post on binary thinking that might serve you well. It will be taxing for you, but if you read it a few times I'm sure you'll grasp the concept.

By the way, Joe Biden called. He wants his exaggerated self-esteem back. (He says you can keep his bloviator.)

Date: 2008/11/07 13:52:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Assassinator @ Nov. 07 2008,09:37)
@Heddle:
It's obvious that electing Obama doesn't say much about the state of racism in America:
1: Only about 50% of the total population voted.
2: From that 50%, about 52% voted for Obama.
That still leaves tens of millions of people not supporting Obama, and I don't even count "positive racism" ("I voted for him because he's black.") wich is, imo, bad as well.

PS: I don't have the exact numers, if anyone can correct me: thanks.

Of course is says something substantive about the state of racism in America. A member of a much oppressed 13% minority being elected head of state is a significant event. Just as certainly it doesn’t say that racism is a solved rather than a continuing problem. But it says something, and it says something important. It’s a Jackie Robinson moment writ large.

Could this have happened any earlier in our history? Almost certainly not. Therefore it represents progress. The only question is: how much?

Date: 2008/11/10 15:11:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 10 2008,14:45)


(from Corpus Callosum)

I'm calling Poe on that one--and I sure hope I'm right.

Their page on W states:

 
Quote
George Walker Bush (born New Haven, Connecticut 1946) is the greatest President in the history of America. He was the Governor of Texas (1996-2001) and has served as the Republican President of the United States of America since 2001. Campaigning on the notion that the United States should not be in the business of nation-building (a stance that would later be modified after 9/11 changed everything), he won the office by a narrow margin in the decisive State of Florida. Legal challenges to the certified vote count went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. Democratic contender Al Gore initially conceded defeat on the night of the election, but then contested the outcome for weeks until the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, in which Jesus Christ influenced the Supreme Court to vote in favor of Bush. It was the greatest moment in American history.


Nobody who is that much of a fundy writes that well.

And their featured article:

Quote
The Roman Catholic Church, often referred to simply as the "Catholic Church", is the largest criminal organization in the world, with about one billion adherents. It comprises one of the three great divisions of false Christianity, together with non-Baptist Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Church consists of those who are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, who is generally called the Pope, currently ex-Nazi Pope Benedict XVI. The Church falsely teaches that the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, whom Catholics regard as the original leader of Christ's apostles and as the first Bishop of Rome.


Now really...

Date: 2008/11/10 18:05:13, Link
Author: dheddle
OK, I know it is in the crudest of popular science magazines, but Discover has a CID related article that says exactly what I've be saying for years. 1) Physicists accept that the constants exhibit fine tuning and 2) The multiverse is the only alternative to God and 3) The multiverse, ultimately, is not amenable to any direct test (meaning a detection of another universe).

Carr's money quote on p. 3:

   
Quote
On the other hand, if there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”


That's been the essence of my CID argument all along. Man it has gotten me into some trouble.

And posting this makes me feel kind of retro. Makes me feel so 2005.

Date: 2008/11/11 04:03:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Olegt,

Yes, points 1 & 2 are technically a false dichotomy. I think I (and many others—Carr, Susskind, etc.) present it that way because, at the moment, there seems to be little choice (other than luck) between multiple universes and a fine-tuner. It’s a bit of hyperbole used to emphasize the dramatic difference of the two choices.

On Tegmark. I have read that paper (actually its parent paper) at least ten times. While I readily acknowledge that Tegmark is a hundred times the physicist I am, I can only say that I cannot glean from that paper what experiment Tegmark would perform and what equipment he would use. Put another way, how would you write a proposal using this paper as a guideline? If you can figure that out, please let me know.

Also, I don’t accept that a theory that explains something about our universe (say, it’s flatness) and also predicts parallel universes is anything more than a plausibility argument for parallel universes. The physics landscape is littered with perfectly wonderful theories that make accurate predictions in one regime and fail miserably in others.

Bystander (and also Henry J),
   
Quote
Isn't another alternative that the constants are not independent or have physicists disproved that idea?


That have not disproved it but they have not discovered it. A relationship among the basic constants is essentially a theory of everything. The multiverse theories say that, in effect, that a search for such a theory is a fool’s errand—the constants, according to these theories, really are essentially random. A fundamental theory connecting the constants, in my view, would be a win in the cosmological ID camp.

Wes,

Quintessence has its own fine tuning problems. While it avoids the fine tuning problem associated with the Cosmological Constant, its time variation has to be fine tuned in a sort of ad hoc fashion. Still, it is, in my mind, a reasonable area of investigation. It is, however, a surprisingly unpopular area of investigation, for reasons I don't understand.

I can try to construct a more elaborate response to your request  if you like.

Simmi,

The fine tuning problem is related to the fact that a shift in the constants would, it is alleged, produce a radically different universe. Typically one that remains Hydrogen and Helium only, or quickly collapses in a big crunch, or has no stable matter. Though you can always argue that maybe life would have evolved under such conditions, it is generally considered a reasonable assumption that it wouldn’t .  (If that sounds sarcastic, it’s not my intention—I’m saying that it is more or less accepted that life of any kind requires the formation of stars and probably terrestrial planets.)

Date: 2008/11/11 07:14:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 11 2008,06:36)
It's not clear to me that a "fine tuner" is really much help for those who long for a God that does the work we want God to do. Stipulating fine tuning, we see that the universe is fine tuned for Hitler and the holocaust, Ted Bundy, vast stretches of emptiness, a world with no apparent intrinsic moral structure, history as "nightmare from which I am trying to awake" and eventual heat death for one and all (extend list as needed). Perhaps the target of fine tuning was the existence of water, and all else that followed is epiphenomenal dross. And so forth.

In short, upon its confirmation, fine tuning would stubbornly and perhaps surprisingly remain a fact of physics and cosmology and resist useful conversion to a theological domain. Equation of "God" memes with fine tuning would ultimately remain an act of faith.

None of which poses any problem for a theist. Well, maybe it is problematic for a theist who longs for "a God that does the work we want God to do." But not for a theist who believes that God does the work that pleases God, and not, necessarily, man.

Date: 2008/11/11 07:19:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 11 2008,05:03)
Arguing that fine tuning = God implies that there is a goal in the "design" of the universe (making it suitable for a some life-form, or whatever). And a goal can only be formulated by a conscious being (God).
The argument assumes its own conclusion. It's completely tautological.


Not any less so than arguing that fine tuning = multiverse.

Pick your untestable hypothesis.

 
Quote
It's pretty much like saying that the birth of each single person is so improbable that it requires considerable fine-tuning, i.e. God. If you tolerate that the birth of a particular person does not matter (if it is not this person, it would just be another) and can be random or dependant on natural causes, why don't you tolerate that the universe as we know is random or also dependent on natural causes (there could just be no life, or a different form of life)? You have to justify your position scientifically. And even if you could justify that this particular universe was some "goal" (which you can't), the fine-tuning argument would be tautological (see above).


I don't tolerate for the same reason that those proposing multiverses don't tolerate it. Physicists do not like coincidences.

EDIT: typo and slight mod.

Date: 2008/11/11 08:17:02, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 11 2008,07:40)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 11 2008,08:14)
But not for a theist who believes that God does the work that pleases God, and not, necessarily, man.

Fair enough - but this is a restatement of a particular faith that may be sustained with or without cosmological fine tuning.

Similarly, perhaps God attained his aims by means of multiverses, because that is the method that pleased.

So, what do these positions really add or subtract to arguments vis theology? Not much, IMHO.

I think you misunderstand (at least) my position on fine-tuning. I do not see it as a proof of God. Nor would I see a confirmation of the multiverse as a refutation of God. I see fine-tuning as something that can be used with honesty (by including the multiverse explanation) to show my fellow believers that science is not an enemy of our faith. Nothing more than that.

Wes,

Quote
About multiverses... while we may not be able to directly or indirectly observe the state of a different universe, doesn't the tested status of the framework that implies multiverses have some bearing on the degree to which we should accept it as a provisional hypothesis?


In a word, no. Or put another way--sure, it can be a provisional hypothesis, but that has the legal standing of "patent pending." You have probably heard me use this example before. Classical E&M is a highly successful theory. It also predicts that atoms are unstable and an ultraviolet catastrophe. No prediction of any theory gets a free pass just because the theory makes other successful predictions. That goes for the multiverse as well. That is, at least, in the view of sciience that I've always held.

Now of course one can take comfort in the fact that theories that predict parallel universes also make testable predictions about our universe. That's fair game. But I don't see how it can be viewed as any sort of confirmation of parallel universes, unless we change what we mean by science. (As Susskind suggested we might have to do--sacrificing falsifiability.)

Date: 2008/11/11 08:30:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 11 2008,08:20)
 I don't support the multiverse hypothesis. I have not seen evidence for it, let alone a correct definition. If the universe is everything, why do we need a multiverse?

In a nutshell, to explain the fact that there are stars and planets, especially rocky planets.

You can take the approach that "that's just the way it is," but I would say that that position would be in the extreme minority among scientists who have considered the problem. They see too many coincidences to be accepted without explanation. The multiverse provides an explanation.

Date: 2008/11/11 09:38:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 11 2008,09:05)
David,

     
Quote

Not any less so than arguing that fine tuning = multiverse.

Pick your untestable hypothesis.


You seem to be misapplying the principle of indifference. You may reject the fact that the same equations that give us all sorts of way-cool applications like these computer gadgets also just happen to imply multiverses because there isn't another source of test or confirmation, but it remains the case that there is a reason to put some credence in multiverses besides the need to explain fine-tuning. The same cannot be said for "fine-tuner" conjectures.

You are, I think, going a bit too far. I can explain the workings of every solid state device known to man using formulations of QM that do not rely on inflationary big bang theories. Neither Schrödinger nor Dirac nor Feynman nor Heisenberg QM says anything at all about parallel universes.

Parallel universes arise from cosmological theories that are expressed in the language of quantum field theory, but the latter does not require or lead inexorably to them.

Furthermore, I believe there are even ways to cast or formulate some inflationary big bang models as single universe models. While the prediction of the multiverse is, technically, independent of the fine tuning problem--I don't think it is unfair to say that a solution to that problem is a huge part of the motivation and of their appeal.

To put it differently--if there was no fine tuning problem, I believe, without any way of proving my belief, that the scientific community would be far more critical of parallel universe theories.

Yes there may be reason to put credence in the multiverse. But there was also reason to put credence in classical E&M, and classical mechanics when they predicted new phenomena—which in some cases led to failures of the theory.

Date: 2008/11/11 15:21:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 11 2008,15:10)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 11 2008,08:30)
   
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 11 2008,08:20)
 I don't support the multiverse hypothesis. I have not seen evidence for it, let alone a correct definition. If the universe is everything, why do we need a multiverse?

In a nutshell, to explain the fact that there are stars and planets, especially rocky planets.

You can take the approach that "that's just the way it is," but I would say that that position would be in the extreme minority among scientists who have considered the problem. They see too many coincidences to be accepted without explanation.

Why are rocky planets more coincidental than the absence of rocky planets?

Do we know the probability of having rocky planet? Given the fact that we are having this discussion, I assume that it is 100%.

Rocky planets require heavy elements. Heavy elements require nuclear synthesis inside of stars, and some way for the heavy elements to get out. That is a process that many (not all) believe is a veritable house of cards.

The probability is irrelevant. As far as I'm concerned, the higher the probability the better, but that is just a philosophical leaning.

Date: 2008/11/11 15:46:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 11 2008,10:36)
David:

       
Quote

Yes there may be reason to put credence in the multiverse. But there was also reason to put credence in classical E&M, and classical mechanics when they predicted new phenomena—which in some cases led to failures of the theory.


The "unstable atom" prediction comes from applying EMT to a particular conceptual model of an atom. It's ambiguous, then, whether the failure indicts EMT or the conceptual model.

And Planck apparently didn't sign on for "ultraviolet catastrophe" being a problem for classical EMT, either:

       
Quote

Many popular histories of physics, as well as a number of physics textbooks, present an incorrect version of the history of the ultraviolet catastrophe. In this version, the "catastrophe" was first noticed by Planck, who developed his formula in response. In fact Planck never concerned himself with this aspect of the problem, because he did not believe that the equipartition theorem was fundamental — his motivation for introducing "quanta" was entirely different. That Planck's proposal happened to provide a solution for it was realized much later, as stated above.[2] Figure 1. ...  In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of energy. ...

Though this has been known by historians for many decades, the historically incorrect version persists, in part because Planck's actual motivations for the proposal of the quantum are complicated and less easy to summarize to a modern audience.[3]


I can admit to being a bit too glib earlier. But I don't think I'm the only person who has been thus afflicted in the discussion. The much-maligned Wikipedia seems not to agree with you about which equations in quantum mechanics imply multiverses:

     
Quote

Although several versions of MWI have been proposed since Hugh Everett's original work,[1] they all contain one key idea: the equations of physics that model the time evolution of systems without embedded observers are sufficient for modelling systems which do contain observers; in particular there is no observation-triggered wavefunction collapse which the Copenhagen interpretation proposes. Provided the theory is linear with respect to the wavefunction, the exact form of the quantum dynamics modelled, be it the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation, relativistic quantum field theory or some form of quantum gravity or string theory, does not alter the validity of MWI since MWI is a metatheory applicable to all linear quantum theories, and there is no experimental evidence for any non-linearity of the wavefunction in physics.[13][14] MWI's main conclusion is that the universe (or multiverse in this context) is composed of a quantum superposition of very many, possibly infinitely many, increasingly divergent, non-communicating parallel universes or quantum worlds.[5]

[...]

#13 Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Laws of Nature (1993), ISBN 0-09-922391-0, pg 68-69

#14 Steven Weinberg Testing Quantum Mechanics, Annals of Physics Vol 194 #2 (1989), pg 336-386


Did Weinberg get it wrong or the Wikipedia editor misunderstand him? It sure looks like what is being said is that any quantum mechanical equation that has something to do with what we would observe as wavefunction collapse implies multiverses, not just the ones that are used for cosmology.


David:

   
Quote

Neither Schrödinger nor Dirac nor Feynman nor Heisenberg QM says anything at all about parallel universes.


The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is generally not sympathetic to Everett's thesis, but it does relay this information:

     
Quote

Hugh Everett III's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to solve the quantum measurement problem by dropping the collapse dynamics from the standard von Neumann-Dirac formulation of quantum mechanics.


Apparently, Dirac does say something about multiverses, if one drops the collapse dynamics. And if Wikipedia is correctly conveying Weinberg, the same apparently applies for the other examples, too.

This is far from being my field of expertise, but the stuff I've read previously and what I'm pulling up currently says that pushing multiverse implication off on some far dark corner of QM is not correct.

The essential point remains: when choosing between "untestable hypotheses" concerning causes of fine-tuning, it simply is not the case that the principle of indifference applies, and that those preferring a cause with some independent grounding in science over a cause with no such independent grounding do have an advantage.


True, Classical EMT leads to an unstable Bohr atom--on the other hand, it has no model of an atom that works, at least as far as I know. So the bottom line is that while it predicts, say, waves and modes in a waveguide to extremely high precision, it fails in whatever it predicts about atoms.

As for Planck, maybe he didn't use the failure of Rayleigh -Jeans as his motivation--but nevertheless it fails spectacularly to reproduce a blackbody spectrum.

Your QM mechanics discussion seems to be that that MWI of QM leads to multiple worlds--which is of course true. But, in spite of what Wikipedia says,  the MWI of QM is not, in my opinion, a widely accepted interpretation. The old Copenhagen interpretation still rules as far as I can tell. Maybe I am not understanding what your comment was or what you quoted, but it seems to me that what is being said is that a MWI is possible (bit not needed) in both nonrelativistic and non-relativistic QM.

It is worth noting that the popular multiverse theories  do not require a MWI. In my opinion the MWI is even more speculative than, say, The Cosmic String Landscape.

Date: 2008/11/14 13:10:56, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 13 2008,23:54)
Like other political junkies I've been reading dozens of "How to fix the GOP" articles lately. They vary widely. Some are smart, many are not. Tim Pawlenty said something very smart the other day:

 
Quote
   "We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes states, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the mid-Atlantic states, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western states," Pawlenty said. "That is not a formula for being a majority governing party in this nation."

   As if that weren't enough, he ticked off a few more challenges.

   "Similarly we cannot compete, and prevail, as a majority governing party if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances. Those are not factors that make up a formula for success going forward."


(from WashMo.)

I bring all this up because I have one general observation from reading all those articles. I have discovered that there's one sure sign the person you're reading is a complete nimrod. if they say some variant of "We have to get back to the principles of Ronald Reagan" the person you're reading has no idea what he's talking about. 1980 was very different than today. When Reagan won there'd been a 10 year period of stagnation, today we've seen years of huge corporate profits. When Reagan won, the cold war was in full effect, now it's nonexistent. When Reagan won people were paying 50, 60 90% tax rates. Now even the rich seldom pay 35%. Who gave a crap about the environment in 1980? Granola muchers in Portland? Now anyone with a brain is concerned about the environment. When Reagan won, health care was a nonissue, now it's a total bankrupting crisis. In short, the conditions prevalent today could hardly be more different than the conditions of 1980, and accordingly, what was attractive then would be seen as irrelevant now, which surprise! the GOP is, which is why educated people see them as completely out of touch and voted Democrat.

The way forward is not a cultish worship of Most Holy Ronald. The way forward for the GOP is to understand why young, passionate, educated people are fleeing the GOP like it's a chemical fire. If you look at the demographic trends, a party that primarily appeals to the old, white, southern, rural, and uneducated is a party that is F*$%ed.

(edited for the grammar. I knew I was white, southern, and rural, but apparently I'm uneducated too)

These geographic comments are fascinating. I recall after Reagan's second election someone famous (but I can't recall who) saying the Democrats are dead because they can't win any state south of the Mason Dixon and west of the Mississippi.

My, how times have changed.

Date: 2008/11/18 09:46:58, Link
Author: dheddle
And while we are at it, what the hell happened to Rich Hughes? Did I miss a brouhaha?

Yeah, this place has no class without Kristine, and no, well, je ne sais quoi without the TARD lidded H-Man.

EDIT: typo

Date: 2008/11/18 13:00:10, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 18 2008,12:46)
I've pretty much gone cold turkey on politics since the election, but this report caught my eye. If true, Obama is off to a poor start.

Excerpt:
   
Quote
But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon.  "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."

Oh, I think there's nothing to worry about.

Date: 2008/11/19 14:53:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Wait, this just in, we're catching up! The electoral college will not be televised!

Date: 2008/11/20 17:06:10, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 20 2008,16:46)
   
Quote (American Saddlebred @ Nov. 20 2008,17:42)
Happy Birthday Ichthyic (44), didymos (34), and the MIA sir_toejam (44 also).

Have a wonderful day!

Ick and STJ are one and the same person. He changed his handle. (Above board, and publicly announced, blah blah blah)

Happy birthday to the two of them, though.

Also, unless I'm mistaken, Heddle's birthday was this week. Happy birthday to you too, Heddle.

Yes it was yesterday, Nov. 19. Because Nov. 19 is a very cool day. In fact my last birthday of the last millennium (using the common definition, not the elitist Obama supporter’s definition, but the real-American definition of millennium, i.e., Nov 19, 1999) was an extremely cool day with a property that won't be seen again for over 1100 years. By which time the rapture will have occurred, which you'll know when I send you a "Dudes! I'm in the dessert line at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, wish you were here!" text message.

So--who knows what that property is?

Date: 2008/11/20 18:52:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 20 2008,18:34)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 20 2008,23:06)
Nov 19, 1999) was an extremely cool day with a property that won't be seen again for over 1100 years.

It's the last date expressible using only "1"s and "9"s until 11 Nov 9111 (or 1 Jan 9111 if you don't insist on 2 digits for M&D).  More than 7000 is more than 1100.

Either way, the rapture, a scientific theory of ID, and some realistic worked out examples of CSI in biology should just be around the corner by then. :)

Close--it's the last day in MM/DD/YYYY format, or the girly Euro DD/MM/YYYY format, to be all odd numbers: 11/19/1999 --until 11/11/3111 (or 1/1/3111 if you give that pass you mentioned to leading zeroes.)

Date: 2008/11/26 09:43:59, Link
Author: dheddle
I like the advisory idea...







Date: 2008/12/03 05:09:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (SoonerintheBluegrass @ Dec. 03 2008,02:25)
From way back, Sledgehammer et al:

 
Quote

28 November 2008
Children are born with a belief in God
Andrew Sibley

Researchers from Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind have found evidence that children are predisposed to believe in God or a supreme being.


I once had a bit of a cordial ferfuffle with a theist (on a colege football board, of all things-- BOOMER SOONER f**k Texass' whiny asses, btw) who, by way of proving his case of the universality and comprehensibility of teh gawd of teh universe, proffered just this sort of "logic."  It was something to the effect of " . . . children just naturally are predisposed to believe in and accept the teachings of Jesus, etc.[because, they're like, so true, and stuff]"  I substituted Santa Claus or the tooth fairy for every instance of Jesus/God, and none of his statement lost a smidgen of insight-- such as there was.  Then things got a little creepily into the realm of eugenics, almost a sort of biological Calvinism, and I quickly changed the subject.   Or tried to, anyway.

I mean, it's not like they start with grad students at madrassahs . . . get 'em young, and igner'nt as they say in these parts, and you've got a much better chance of keeping in the fold, and thus fleecing them if they manage to make some decent bank later on as adults.  Or if they don't make any decent bank.

Why would your friend go into biological Calvinism (whatever that is) or any sort of Calvinism when starting from the most anti-Calvinistic position possible? (Calvin would not have agreed, to say the least, that children are predisposed to believe in God, or are innocent and pure, etc. He believed in infant baptism--you do know what the water signifies?) Or were you the biological Calvinist?

Date: 2008/12/03 10:01:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 03 2008,08:00)
Quote (k.e.. @ Dec. 03 2008,03:53)
Calvin himself is paticularly missed, a great little theologin but a bugger with his fart jokes.

No, k.e., Luther was the one who loved bowling and fart jokes ("When I fart in Wittenberg, they smell it in Rome").

Calvin's idea of fun was to kill people for their beliefs.

But only bad people.

Date: 2008/12/03 10:30:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 03 2008,10:18)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 03 2008,10:01)
 
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 03 2008,08:00)
   
Quote (k.e.. @ Dec. 03 2008,03:53)
Calvin himself is paticularly missed, a great little theologin but a bugger with his fart jokes.

No, k.e., Luther was the one who loved bowling and fart jokes ("When I fart in Wittenberg, they smell it in Rome").

Calvin's idea of fun was to kill people for their beliefs.

But only bad people.

So sending insulting correspondence is a capital offense?

With a connotation of "bad" that is that broad, Calvin shares company on that property with rather a lot of folks who we would otherwise view as quite unsavory.

Wes,

You must not be up on your Arnold Schwarzenegger pop culture references. Unthinkable.

By the way, you have been tagged, and it is Bob O'Hara's fault.

Date: 2008/12/03 17:03:41, Link
Author: dheddle
I think most of you know, the ASA is a group of scientists/theists and their friends, many of who are in the TE camp. They have a forum and the archives are public domain. This thread that just started (and may go somewhere or nowhere) may be of interest.

And Calvin hosts the forum and archives, so you know they're good.

Date: 2008/12/04 18:04:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Has anyone addressed the ramifications for the more tested Nixplanatory Filter?

Date: 2008/12/11 09:33:28, Link
Author: dheddle
This was enough to break me from my funk and blog on matters UD. If anyone is interested.

Date: 2009/01/24 09:57:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Happy Birthday yinz guys.*

(*The yinz being in honor of the Pittsburgh Steelers.)

Date: 2009/01/29 16:16:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 29 2009,14:59)
Prof_P.Olofsson responds.
 
Quote
Prof_P.Olofsson: I can stand the heat of a rational and respectful discussion. Claiming that I am bluffing respresents neither. But OK then, let’s go personal: You are ugly and smell slightly of boiled potatoes!

I'm sure he didn't mean to say boiled potatoes. It should be elderberries. Everyone knows that.

Date: 2009/02/13 16:06:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Richard Hughes,

I thought you were dead.


Date: 2009/02/16 10:32:04, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 15 2009,09:09)
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #422,369 in Books
How many a month does that equate to, anybody know? Enough to buy a beer?

Dembski appears to be in the 50,000 rank range with a couple of his latest.

Man, I'd kill for such numbers!

Date: 2009/02/16 13:39:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 16 2009,10:47)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 16 2009,16:32)
 
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 15 2009,09:09)
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #422,369 in Books
How many a month does that equate to, anybody know? Enough to buy a beer?

Dembski appears to be in the 50,000 rank range with a couple of his latest.

Man, I'd kill for such numbers!

Heddle,

You forgot to add "buy my book".

Louis

No I wouldn't ask anyone to shell out hard-cold cash for a book with such miserable numbers. There must be a reason why I am stuck in seven figures. But I do have some of my free author's copies left if you want one.

Date: 2009/03/20 09:04:29, Link
Author: dheddle
The zeitgeist at UD is impossible to nail down at the moment. The mental image I form is of a Dickensian office embedded in a shimmering spacetime —sometimes they are here, though never completely so, sometimes they are somewhere else. Like a malfunctioning Star Trek transporter.

Date: 2009/03/20 09:17:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 20 2009,09:12)
Heddle how closely have you been watching?  I'd like to hear more about your take on it, and whether or not you have registered under the new policy.  

these are exciting days of Tard.

I have been in rehab from excessive exposure to the science/faith/ID/evo wars. (I tried check myself into the "Richard Hughes Clinic" but they didn't accept my insurance.) So I haven't kept up and have not registered under a new policy--I was not even aware of a new policy.

Date: 2009/03/20 15:38:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Which one of you is AmerikanInKananaskis? Nobody is that stupid in real life. Nobody. Not even F1 fans.

Date: 2009/03/25 13:47:06, Link
Author: dheddle
I am late to this topic but-- do I have this right-- you now face bannination at UD for posts you make on other blogs?

If so, do we have, as yet, a person banned at UD who has never posted on UD?

Date: 2009/03/25 13:52:33, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,13:37)
You want to multiply with Joe?


*Reverse Shimmy*

OT: What is a shimmy?

Date: 2009/03/25 13:57:43, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,13:53)
Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 25 2009,13:52)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,13:37)
You want to multiply with Joe?


*Reverse Shimmy*

OT: What is a shimmy?

So you know when you get a lapdance and ...


oh, HEDDLE..right....


So you know when you GIVE a lapdance...

J/K Dave  :D

Ahh, so this is a shimmy.

Then I don't understand what a "reverse shimmy" is. It would appear to be time reversal invariant.

Date: 2009/03/25 14:14:23, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,14:01)
It's only for pros like Tarden and Carlson:

http://ats.tribe.net/thread/0d98e825-8f43-4660-a5f9-31030bcb09c1

I always say that a day is not successful unless I learn something new. Mission accomplished.

Date: 2009/03/25 14:18:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,14:16)
Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 25 2009,14:14)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 25 2009,14:01)
It's only for pros like Tarden and Carlson:

http://ats.tribe.net/thread/0d98e825-8f43-4660-a5f9-31030bcb09c1

I always say that a day is not successful unless I learn something new. Mission accomplished.

Learn by doing, Dave. Then post a Youtube. Then link here so we can mock enjoy.

I dance better than Al Gore. That's all I'll say.

Date: 2009/03/25 20:07:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Mar. 25 2009,20:04)
Quote (dpheddle @ Mar. 25 2009,17:54)
   
Quote (GCUGreyArea @ Mar. 25 2009,18:33)
It reminds me of when I went rushing to my PhD supervisor with some fantastic (i.e. publishable) results from an evolutionary simulation.  I had to crawl back a few weeks later without a publication and admit that my results were the product of a bug in my code.  A lesson well learned on my part but also something that occasionally happens to many people in science - Integrity is in the admission of error, not (always) in making the mistake,

Arggh.I thought I saw a juicy phase transition in my thesis calculation that was sure to  get me lots of physics groupies and a tenured nuclear theory job at MIT. My advisor took one look at the plot I had generated with its beautiful cusp and said: "you made a sign error in the denominator." He was right. And I never did get a job at MIT. Or the groupies.

Yeah, but on the plus side, you do have RTH explaining shimmies to you.

By the way, how come you were dheddle this morning, but you're dpheddle now?  I thought you "wanted to be dheddle, dammit!"

I am dheddle again. I don't post often from this machine, and didn't notice that it had remembered me as dpheddle until I saw the "Al Gore Angry Face" avatar.

Dammit.

Date: 2009/03/26 06:34:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (CeilingCat @ Mar. 26 2009,05:56)
Denyse is going on about the brainless mind again.  This time she tells the story of a "voluble atheist religion professor" she met at dinner who brought up the well known story of Phineas Gage.  He's the guy who got a steel rod shot through his skull in 1845, wiping out his frontal lobes.

It's generally acknowledged that Gage's personality changed radically after this accident, but all of those academics don't fool Denyse.  She's found a real life professor, at the University of London, no less, that claims those effects were just temporary and he got much better after a year or two.

Although, strangely, "getting better" meant he went from being a construction foreman and blaster, jobs which require judgement and organization, to shoveling out stables in Chile.  But I'm sure that's because he just really loved horses.

I'm beginning to think that the only way we can determine the truth of the non-brain consciousness theory is if some hardy Canadian Volunteer has her brain surgically removed.  If we can't detect any change in her personality, we can conclude that Denyse was right all along.  And if there is a change in personality, I'm sure it will be for the better.

Win win!!!1!1!11

At least, for a change, she posted something mildly interesting.

BTW, I love the signature. Is bringing back Arrested Development part of Obama's stimulus plan? I hope so.

Date: 2009/03/26 14:00:03, Link
Author: dheddle
According to PaulN,  Dembski is up against "the man."

 
Quote
I have confidence that the facts and logic supporting the ID position will eventually overcome the authority of the establishment.


Link.

EDIT: removed unintentional Brobdingnagian quote.

Date: 2009/03/26 14:08:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Mar. 26 2009,14:00)
Dembski:
   
Quote
In any case, the burden on the materialist is to show that mind is nothing but brain and therefore injury to brain injures the mind. For the dualist to challenge this it is enough to exhibit a counterexample, not that brain injury never affects personality.

Borrowing his logic:
   
Quote
In any case, the burden on the materialist is to show that liver function is nothing but physics and chemistry and therefore that injury to the liver impairs liver function. For the dualist to challenge this it is enough to exhibit a counterexample, not that liver injury never affects liver function.

Furthermore, a survivor of an airplane crash proves that airplane crashes are not dangerous. And a ninety year old smoker disproves the alleged risk of cigarettes. Boys if you got 'em. smoke 'em.

Date: 2009/03/27 10:21:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (dvunkannon @ Mar. 27 2009,07:47)

Pendulum Channels Heddle
   
Quote
It concludes that this is not the case, however, without taking into account what does give life meaning for many people.

NASCAR!

All science so far...

OK there is some riffraff in NASCAR. I won't deny it. But mostly it's beautiful people. And smart. Scary smart.

EDIT: edited because the "quote" button failed like a NASA meters-to-feet converter.

Date: 2009/03/27 10:42:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (AmandaHuginKiss @ Mar. 27 2009,10:28)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 28 2009,03:01)
Don't you have to follow all the sub-ingredients down until you have to make matter?

Not only that you need to develop the recipe in such a way that aliens can interpret it otherwise it is just some random gibberish

I sense a novel here --it opens medias res with Richard Hughes eating a Hostess Hoho--and employs flashback to explain how the recipe arrived encoded in EPCDIC (lower case only.)

EDIT: spelling

Date: 2009/04/06 10:10:45, Link
Author: dheddle
He needs to look into whether the lifelines of the integers can cross--i.e., will 6 ever be larger than 22? What will this mean for sports records?

Date: 2009/04/23 10:35:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Jasper @ April 22 2009,17:48)
Professor Coyne forgot to acknowledge his natural allies in his fight against "accommodationism."

Fundamentalist Christians.

Interesting bedfellows, huh?

Indeed.

If this had happened five or six years ago I might have sat back and enjoyed the internecine warfare. But since my tiny little niche of ministry is to show Christians that science isn't our enemy, what I'd really like to do is to kick Jerry Coyne, who must surely be on Ken Ham's and Bill Dembski's Christmas card list, in the shin.

I view him as a serial liar--or at least as a man who cannot construct an honest argument. He speaks repeatedly of an incompatibility between science and faith--but like others who make the claim--necessarily disregarding hefty circumstantial evidence to the contrary-- he never demonstrates it. If Ken Miller's faith is incompatible with his science then--if that has any meaning whatsoever--show me the adverse effect. Don't tell me. I'm not interested (well, maybe a bit) in Jerry Coyne's philosophical masturbation.

As a scientist he should know--but he apparently misses the boat-- the basic rule: if you have no means of measuring a claim, the claim is worthless.

He simply asserts an incompatibility--and that assertion, without any proof, is no better than if I were to assert a hyper-compatibility-- perhaps to claim that Dawkins would be a better scientist if he embraced Christianity. Why? Because I just know it. Christianity will give him a peace that passes understanding, and that peace will allow him to focus on his research.

Actually, as awful as that is, I think it is more of an argument than Coyne (or PZ or Dawkins or Harris) ever give as to why there is an incompatibility.

Date: 2009/04/23 14:32:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 23 2009,13:51)
Collision Hypothesis:

Quote
review proceeds by advancing 10 propositions that the author believes embody the most important issues confronting the theory. These propositions may or may not be true, but they form a framework for asking the right questions.


Seems fair enough. Could it be a captured planetoid? Heddle?

Are we talking about the moon's formation? I like the impact theory. The simulations seem to work--but so far it lacks definitive proof, as far as I know.

(Being a nuclear physicist, and nuclei be ~10^-15 m, and the moon being of the order 10^6 m, it's 21 OOM out of my comfort zone. So I feel qualified to comment as though I'm an expert.)

Date: 2009/05/07 11:40:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Jerry has presented his breakthrough proof that the multiverse means there are infinite Gods. He must be right because he completed his proof with QED.

In my opinion, only Borges has done the infinite justice, in his Library of Babel (the cynic would say: a good metaphor for the internet). That infinite library contained every possible book. Its patrons included monks who were searching for the explanation for the library, which must be contained within. They were seemingly oblivious to the fact that the library also contains an infinite number of perfect refutations of the book they seek.

Date: 2009/05/07 18:12:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (steve_h @ May 07 2009,17:43)
MARK CHU-CARROL comments:
 
Quote
Not as far as I know.

In the bibliography, they list two other of their papers, which are listed as "to appear", with the journal names black out. If you delayer the PDF to see the text under the blackouts, it says "International Journal of Fun and Games – You’re too Clever – Gotcha!" - which I take both to be a sign of lack of professionalism, and an admission that they can't get this stuff published anyplace real.


For the less technically minded, instead of "delayering the PDF" you can get the same effect by copying from PDF and pasting into Notepad

Amazing. Truly amazing.

Date: 2009/05/08 16:09:45, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (khan @ May 08 2009,16:00)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 08 2009,16:40)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 08 2009,14:26)
   
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 08 2009,13:16)
     
Quote (Joy @ May 07 2009,23:21)
Thanks, Richard. One question - does this Erasmus fellow speak English? I find it very hard to follow his gist...

...and I don't know what anyone but Lou really looks like (if his current pic is any help, sort of cute), so I can't say who I'd rather make out with. I'm an eye person, if that helps. Don't care what color.

Thank you, Joy. Very kind of you to say so.

I'm tempted to award you a PotW just for that.

Seconded, you handsome devil!

You can be such a charmer, Rich! :)

Do we have a consensus?

Well Lou FCD certainly rocks my world. As a bonus, he looks like a NASCAR fan.

Date: 2009/05/08 16:25:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 08 2009,16:15)

*snip*
Too many teeth, surely?

I only see the top ones-- I think he only has half his choppers-- which makes him an average NASCAR fan. (What am I saying?)

Date: 2009/05/08 16:50:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 08 2009,16:29)
NASCAR question - why are only rubbish cars allowed in NASCAR?

Will you take me to a NASCAR event, uncle Dave? Can I take my camera on a mullet safari?

NASCAR cars are rubbish! Why many of 'em are GM's, and GM is practically owned by President Obama!  And they have clutches and gear shifts cause real men drive 'em, not like those girly euro drivers/cars that use *snicker* gender-challenged paddle shifters.

I'm taking da boyz to the Charlotte race May 24. You are welcome to join us.

Date: 2009/05/08 17:02:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Speaking of NASCAR, do you guys know I write a famous NASCAR web-comic that violates many copyrights and gets and amazing 7-10 hits per day? That's 7 to 10, not 710.)

Date: 2009/05/08 19:40:37, Link
Author: dheddle
Giving a dreaded 8:00 pm on last-day-of-finals E&M final as we speak. My students do not look like happy campers. I, on the other hand, enjoy browsing while they are trying to remember Faraday's Law.

Date: 2009/05/08 19:44:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ May 08 2009,19:42)
David,

Isn't giving an exam at 8 pm on Friday against the law?

If it ain't, it should be.

But this is Virginia. We have classes on Labor Day.

Date: 2009/06/25 09:35:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Just stopped by to say Hi.

Still lurking, but I seem to have lost my muse.

Date: 2009/06/25 09:51:15, Link
Author: dheddle
I kind of like the new Chevy Camaro. And I heard it was designed by the owner of GM, President Obama.

Date: 2009/06/25 11:12:55, Link
Author: dheddle
And let's not forget the vehicle that performs the invaluable service of demonstrating the concept of a "superelastic collision" to young physics students:





Date: 2009/06/25 11:29:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 25 2009,11:14)
Is that the current Heddlemobile?

No, this is:



'cause I'm a SuperPatriot and Honda's are made in the US while Fords are made in Canada which might as well be Russia. Or even England.

Date: 2009/06/26 16:36:12, Link
Author: dheddle
I voted for Wes--applying for a mortgage was faster.

Date: 2009/06/30 07:40:29, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (deadman_932 @ June 30 2009,07:05)
On the "Answers for Judge Jones" thread, StephenB worded a response very, very oddly.

I think you are too generous. "Worded oddly" implies he gave himself an out on the basis of a technicality. He didn't--he is simply wrong.

Date: 2009/08/04 17:04:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Has someone mentioned the, IIRC, humiliation if the Explanatory Filter, followed by the Deng Xiaoping-like rehabilitaion of the EF, followed by a deafening silence on the EF? (Caveat: I am out of date on my U-D-ology.)

Date: 2009/08/04 17:17:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ Aug. 04 2009,17:13)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Aug. 04 2009,12:04)
Has someone mentioned the, IIRC, humiliation if the Explanatory Filter, followed by the Deng Xiaoping-like rehabilitaion of the EF, followed by a deafening silence on the EF? (Caveat: I am out of date on my U-D-ology.)

Trumped!
*shakes fist*

Don't forget Davetard's "You're right Bill, the EF is rubbish"
followed by "You're right Bill, it's the best thing since sliced bread!"

Sweet--'cause your comment on Telic Thoughts gave me the idea! That'll learn you about the importance of temporal ordering when it comes to comments!

Date: 2009/08/04 18:12:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 04 2009,18:04)
 
Quote (keiths @ Aug. 04 2009,17:44)
   
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 04 2009,14:34)
       
Quote (dvunkannon @ Aug. 04 2009,17:25)
The infield fly rule is a great example of counter inuitive evolution!

ID and UD drop the ball so often you've got to wonder if it isn't deliberate.

For the benefit of Louis and other congenital Limeys:  Infield Fly Rule

Oh rounders, the girl's game!



Gimme a break. Baseball was a manly game, complete with spikes to the groin, long before the last time an Englishman won Wimbledon. And that's  darn near prediluvian.

Date: 2009/08/07 05:47:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ Aug. 06 2009,14:08)
Here's the link for Professor Demsbski and the Explanatory Filter Débacle!

ETA:

Reinstating The Explanatory Filter

This may be vintage WaD. In my opinion, it is close between the EF resurrection and “street theatre” . Each has that finely tuned admixture of |unjustifiable arrogance>,  |notpology>, and the |absence of an actual sense of humor> that is the WaD wavefunction.

Other examples simply show the collapse to one eigenstate—like the Brites  were all |absence of an actual  sense of humor> and the Baylor Board of Regents was a pure state of |unjustifiable arrogance>.

Date: 2009/08/08 09:12:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Aug. 08 2009,08:39)
Clive,baby has his Depends in a ruffle.  Clive go introduce some aborigine prostitutes to jesus and tell yourself you have made a positive difference in the world.

Quote
1
herb
08/08/2009
1:25 am
Excellent takedown, Clive. I noticed that Mr Brown said absolutely nothing about the scientific content of ID theory, for obvious reasons. Instead, it seems he prefers to exploit a few unfortunate episodes for lulz, several of which involve a person who doesn’t even post here anymore! Whatever anyone thinks about UD, they can’t deny that 99% of the posts here are strictly science related.


damn that guy is good.  "strictly science related"  BWAHAHAHAHA

But the best part of Herb's comment is: I noticed that Mr Brown said absolutely nothing about the scientific content of ID theory, for obvious reasons.

Herb, you da man!

Date: 2009/08/13 16:18:13, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 13 2009,14:27)
It looks like we will have Kevin Miller to kick around some more. He's scriptwriting a film trying to make heroic the life of exceptional loon and religious antievolutionist Kent Hovind.

   
Quote

Resurrection Pictures was founded in 2006 as the first—and possibly the only—501©(3) non-profit, tax-exempt ministry with a mission to produce and distribute Christian-themed entertainment for movie theaters worldwide.  This Christian film ministry is shaping the future of the faith-based film industry by investing in the work of others who share a vision to create high-quality, culturally relevant entertainment options that share the Gospel message.  In September 2009, Resurrection Pictures is partnering in the release of "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry"—a heartwarming coming-of-age story about three 12-year-old boys who are shown how to apply Scripture to daily struggles—and is a 2009 Silver Sponsor of the 168 Hour Film Project & Festival.  Creation, Resurrection Pictures’ first original film project— a humorous and tearful story of a high school biology teacher’s struggle to expose the lie of evolution, based on the life of creation evangelist Dr. Kent Hovind and written by Kevin Miller the writer of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is scheduled for production in 2010.


Uh, Kevin, it hasn't been produced yet, so you could actually work to correct the errors we know you've written in so far. After all, we know your idea of "research". We'll give you a hand, I'm sure. Just post excerpts and after we get done laughing, we'll explain why going with your draft would continue your reputation as a laughingstock.

First hint: Calling Kent Hovind "Dr." isn't doing yourself any favors. Have you read Hovind's "dissertation" as distributed by Patriot University? I have.

I nominate Richard Hughes to play Dr. Hovind--Rich has that certain je ne sais quoi.

Date: 2009/08/13 16:29:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Aug. 13 2009,16:07)
probly should go on the wall but here is the on topic connection.

http://www.419eater.com/

these guys sock puppet online scams.  since i read the first one i can't get enough.  what great fun!!!!  read the wall of shame.  good stuff.

back to your punfest.


Hilarious!!!

What would the nixplanatory filter do with this one (from the wall of shame):

Date: 2009/08/19 16:46:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Unapologetic denial in the face of irrefutable evidence (visa vis WEASEL) always reminds me of the great train scene in Trading Places where Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) needs help with her rucksack:

Ophelia: I’m Inga from Sveeden.
Beeks: But you’re wearing Lederhosen!
Ophelia: Ja, definitely from Sveeden.

Edit: wrong character--which is apropos--let the reader understand.

Date: 2009/08/21 15:10:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Note that if you remove any part of the latch, it will no longer function as a latch.

Date: 2009/08/25 11:47:21, Link
Author: dheddle
What will happen first?

1) A Dembski prediction will come true
2) Sarah Palin will be President of the United States
3) An Englishman will win at Wimbledon
4) Keanu Reeves will win an Oscar for best actor
5) K.E. WILL COLLIDE WITH e e cummings causing a rift in the fabric of spacetime

Date: 2009/09/01 08:26:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Have to disagree with the hordes on the C.S. Lewis question. I think his writing is worthy of the praise with which it is lavished. I think the Chronicles are beautifully written: descriptive (shows, doesn’t tell), entertaining, thought provoking, good character growth, works on multiple levels, etc. Screwtape Letters is a masterpiece, in my opinion.

My only complaint about Lewis is that he wasn’t a Calvinist. What’s up with that?

Date: 2009/09/01 11:52:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Midwifetoad,


 
Quote
If God wanted him to be Calvinist, he would have been.


I know! That’s what’s confusing! All the really cool people are Calvinists, (but not vice versa.) It’s as if God looked at the intellectual scorecard:

Calvinists: Augustine,  Aquinas,  Luther, Calvin (duh), Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, Knox,  Francis Schaeffer,  Cornelius Van Til, the Apostle Paul, Jesus, Jesus' Father…

Armininians:  Jimmy Swaggart, Charles Finney, …

And said—wait, these guys are well-meaning though misguided. Let’s give them a 1st round draft pick. And they snagged C. S. Lewis.

As for your signature, remember that Lutheran theology is not Lutheran—and all should be clear.

Ras,

 
Quote
heddle what about the trash talking about arab types in the narnia books?  lewis portrays them as a lesser human, i always thought.  but richtard coming at me with this secret muslim business threw me fer a loop


I never noticed that. As for Hughes—the boy never met a lunatic fringe theory he didn’t embrace. He still thinks that Goldie Hawn’s Laugh In gig was talent based and had nothing to do with the Kennedy Assassination. Can you believe it?

Olegt,

 
Quote
Today is 2009 and the victory is still 20 years ahead.  Did we discover a new fundamental[ist] constant?


It’s the same as the “affordable, commercial fusion power” time constant!

Date: 2009/09/01 13:36:39, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 01 2009,12:37)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 01 2009,12:05)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 01 2009,11:52)
I never noticed that. As for Hughes—the boy never met a lunatic fringe theory he didn’t embrace.

Erm, ID?

My outing of the Heddle space telescope:



is a public service. I put the meddle to the Heddle. erm, fo' sheddle.

Cool!  And isn't that the same telescope used for the research in Privaleged Planet ?

You mock, but you haven't seen some of the images taken with that telescope. Here is an example:



Date: 2009/09/01 15:05:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Do you think this student passed his quiz?

Date: 2009/09/01 16:09:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (deadman_932 @ Sep. 01 2009,15:43)
 
Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 01 2009,15:20)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 01 2009,13:05)
Do you think this student passed his quiz?

I expect so.  There wouldn't be much to study.

I'm mildly concerned that anyone taking "Physics 341"  needs a GPA calculator other than half a brain and maybe a pencil & scrap of paper  

I wonder if this hypothetical student is at Bob Jones U or the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Looking closely at the course numbers--I think he is one of ours!

And our department produces world famous graduates.

(I saw the picture on a poster on one of our bulletin boards and just hit the website.) Not sure what the ID quiz really is--looks like something in his history class.

I'm guessing he is one of our CS students who wrote a couple I-phone apps and is looking for a little moula. In his defense, clearly he knows how to compute his GPA, he is trying to sell to those who can't figure it out, like philosophy majors and English (from England) exchange students.

Date: 2009/09/02 10:56:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 01 2009,18:59)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 01 2009,11:52)
Armininians:  Jimmy Swaggart, Charles Finney, …

You left out John Wesley.

Don't burden me with inconvenient facts!

Date: 2009/09/04 14:59:40, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 04 2009,14:32)
 
Quote (dmso74 @ Sep. 04 2009,13:01)
bFast explains just how much loves those yummy computers:

   
Quote
Secondly, Oatmeal, Gil is a world-class software developer as am I (he moreso). We have a deep, rich, thick understanding of computers, including “universal” turing machines.


do you program in heaping spoonfuls of creamy steaming nougaty code?

link

World class? what's he done that we've heard of, then?

World class?

I'll give you world class!

Date: 2009/09/04 16:37:32, Link
Author: dheddle
What's up with stopping before the Mark of the Beast?*. You going all dispensational on us, Wes?

---------
* Which anyone who is anyone knows is 661, not 666

Date: 2009/09/14 14:05:56, Link
Author: dheddle
FloydLee,

 
Quote
You know, over at CARM, I keep on asking the resident evolutionists to please offer me a Bible-supported, and rationally-supported, version of "Christianity" that evolution as currently taught is clearly compatible with.


You are, it seems to me, taking the opposite if incompatible to be "supports". It is not. The manual for my 2003 Honda Element is compatible with evolutionary theory and with the bible. (One is tempted, then, to invoke transitivity.)

I am curious: how do you reconcile your fear that evolution can destroy saving faith (I am assuming that is an accurate rephrasing of what you wrote—correct me if not) with passages such as:

 
Quote
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. (John 10:29)


and

 
Quote
because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)


(Just to take a couple) If evolution can threaten the faith of a believer, then a believer can be snatched, contra John 10:29, and something is greater than he who is within—since, after all, he has promised that none will be snatched.

I'm guessing I could never agree with your interpretation of the bible. You are too much of a liberal for my tastes.

--------
EDIT: MOAT (mother of all typos)

Date: 2009/09/14 16:22:39, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (ppb @ Sep. 14 2009,15:34)
Sorry Heddle, but your Honda Element is clearly incompatible with the Bible.  The Scriptures clearly state that the disciples were together in one Accord.  :)

POTW -- that is hilarious!

Date: 2009/09/15 11:04:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 15 2009,10:42)
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Sep. 15 2009,15:49)
   
Quote (Quack @ Sep. 15 2009,05:26)
What company this man kept:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'

Let's see...Louis, Arden, Carlson and 'Ras, respectively? Interesting. They've been around longer than I thought! I bet they were also from the People's Front of Judea, the bastards.

Whoa whoa whoa WHOA!

*I'm* not the drunkard? Your information is grossly wrong. Wrong enough to border on libel, damn you! I shall not take such defamation lying down*, my Second will call upon you shortly.

God's blood, such calumny cannot be easily borne etc.

Louis

*Unlike, I understand, all your male and female relatives and acquaintances, who take many things lying down with a willingness that skirts close to obscenity.

You misread. Jesus is the one being labeled as a glutton and drunkard. I assume you are not claiming to be Jesus--so the passage makes no statement regarding your degree  of inebriation--so your outrage is misplaced.

It says taxpayers and sinners are claimed to be among his friends. In a Venn diagram sense, "taxpayers and sinners" is similar to "wombats and animals" but never the mind.

Date: 2009/09/15 12:28:27, Link
Author: dheddle
To me the best working definition of Christian* is one who accepts the historic creeds, e.g., the Nicene creed. It says nothing about when or how or over how long a period God created, only that he did. It says nothing about the end times beyond the fact that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead (which probably includes Louis.)

Anyway, FWIW, that's how I define my circle of orthodoxy--and I believe its radius is fairly large.

-----------
*Since the technical definition: one who is made presentable to God through the righteousness of Jesus is theologically correct and unambiguous, but of little value in a practical sense.

-----------
EDIT: weird typo.

Date: 2009/09/15 13:33:20, Link
Author: dheddle
This is, like, the. worst. debate. ever. Not nearly as exciting as Richard Hughes debating Tina Yothers on whether "Gauss' Law" is an acceptable alternative to "Gauss's Law".

Date: 2009/09/15 13:52:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Stanton @ Sep. 15 2009,13:42)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 15 2009,11:04)
You misread. Jesus is the one being labeled as a glutton and drunkard. I assume you are not claiming to be Jesus--so the passage makes no statement regarding your degree  of inebriation--so your outrage is misplaced.

Are you sure that they aren't arguing over being like Jesus, rather than arguing over being Jesus?

They can not be arguing over being like Jesus; at most they argue over being like what Jesus was accused of being, er, like, which is, like, altogether different. That is, while there is ample evidence that Jesus enjoyed a good meal and a glass of wine, as did Calvin and Luther, there is no evidence that he was, in fact, a glutton  and/or a drunkard. With Luther--well let's not go there.

Date: 2009/09/15 16:06:38, Link
Author: dheddle
deadman_932

Quote
Leave Heddle alone. It's not his fault he hates America so much that he drives a Honda


Whoa—I’m a super patriot. Me and Mrs. Calvinist each have a Honda, and Hondas are made in Ohio and Alabama. Thus we support the Great American Worker, not the capitalist pig-dogs who own the U.S. Car Companies (or is that the government?)  Now, yes, Fords are made in the US—but way up there in the Maple Leaf State (Canada), and I do not consider Canadians real Americans, because if they were there would be a top-tier NASCAR race in that state.  And Chevy’s, if they are still made at all, are made in Mexico or some other net importer to the U.S. (which doesn’t narrow it down much.) So don’t question my patriotism! Just go ahead and lay your hands on this Pittsburgh Steelers fan!

Date: 2009/09/15 17:08:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 15 2009,17:05)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 15 2009,14:06)
Just go ahead and lay your hands on this Pittsburgh Steelers fan!

I think this went to the wrong forum, Heddle.  This is ATBC.  Sara Palin doesn't post here.

But she might. I'm waiting. Once, on TV, she winked at me!

Date: 2009/09/15 17:14:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 15 2009,16:27)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 15 2009,16:06)
deadman_932

   
Quote
Leave Heddle alone. It's not his fault he hates America so much that he drives a Honda


Whoa—I’m a super patriot. Me and Mrs. Calvinist each have a Honda, and Hondas are made in Ohio and Alabama. Thus we support the Great American Worker, not the capitalist pig-dogs who own the U.S. Car Companies (or is that the government?)  Now, yes, Fords are made in the US—but way up there in the Maple Leaf State (Canada), and I do not consider Canadians real Americans, because if they were there would be a top-tier NASCAR race in that state.  And Chevy’s, if they are still made at all, are made in Mexico or some other net importer to the U.S. (which doesn’t narrow it down much.) So don’t question my patriotism! Just go ahead and lay your hands on this Pittsburgh Steelers fan!

American cars are shoite, though.

I have a ickle soft spot for the old GT-40s, but that's about it.


And I have a soft spot for the old cars of the English. Of course it has to be the old cars since they don't make any new cars. Who owns Jaguar? who owns Land Rover? India? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Chad?

Disgraceful!

Date: 2009/09/16 04:25:31, Link
Author: dheddle
FL’s coup de grâce, reason number four, is vintage Henry Morris and is actually an objection to old earth creationism, not evolution per se. The objection is, to paraphrase:

If there was death before the fall, then the gospel is destroyed.

I have posted on this many times—it is the “no dead mouse problem.” It paints a picture of God’s redemptive plan being at the mercy of an elephant not stepping on a mouse prior to the Fall, as indicated by the java program:

Code Sample

if (beforeTheFall.nothingAtAllDiedNotEvenAMouse()) {
 jesus.goRedeemTheWorld();
}
else {
 jesus.stayHome();
}


But enough of that. The exegetical analysis is problematic in a number of ways. FL refers us to Paul’s letter to the Romans:

 
Quote

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

The first objection is not the more important one—but rather just a note on precision. Verse 12 informs us that death came to all men. It says nothing about animals.

However—that is for amusement purposes only. The real issue is taking death in the Romans passage to refer to physical death as opposed to spiritual death—i.e., as in “dead in our sins” (Eph. 2:1).

Even within the passage itself it is tortuous to interpret this death as mundane physical death. For in v. 14 Paul tells us that death reigned from Adam to Moses. But there was no change in the pattern of physical death at the arrival of Moses (or Jesus for that matter.) People died in the same manner. Clearly Paul is referring to a spiritual change with the arrival of Moses—manifested, obviously, by the giving of the Law. But physical death? No—man had his three score and ten before Moses and the same after Moses.

Things get worse, fatally, when this passage is tied to Genesis. There we have God’s promise to Adam:

 
Quote
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen 2:17)

As we know, Adam did eat. And on that day he surely did not stop breathing. In fact, according Gen. 5:5, Adam lived to the age of 930.  The literalist is left with some unpleasant choices:

1) God was only blowing smoke—like the bad parent: I swear if you touch that one more time I’ll spank you so hard your eyes’ll pop out!

2) God changed his mind—repudiating the doctrine of God’s immutability and leaving us with the unpleasant possibility that he’ll change his mind about other things too. (No way am I sending Jesus back—what was I thinking when I made that promise?)

3) Here “death” actually means “to start the process of dying.” Say goodbye to literality.

Some famous top-ten early church theologians recognized this problem and became the first non-literalists, arguing that “a day is like a thousand years” to God, so that each Genesis day was a thousand years—and Adam did not live to be 1000—problem solved.

But again the obvious solution, the only real solution that makes sense out of both Genesis 2:17 and the Romans passage, is that the death referred to in each was spiritual death—i.e. spiritual death (our inability for us to please God  or seek God in any manner) and not physical death was the result of the Fall.

That not only makes sense there--but for interpreting the rest of the bible as well--for from the third chapter of Genesis on the bible is all about spiritual redemption.

I understand how many of my fellow Christians are YECs. While I disagree with the YEC position it doesn’t bother me nor prevent fellowship.  But this particular extension of the argument—i.e., that “we have studied this problem have concluded that death before the fall would render the gospel impotent and the creator of the universe powerless to redeem his people” is so arrogant (and also intractable —a bad combination—like the basketball player who is small but slow) that it makes my blood boil. But as I said—F.L. is too liberal for my tastes.

Date: 2009/09/16 05:16:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 15 2009,23:45)
ONLOOKERS.

1. HEDDLE:=>



HAR HAR THIS IS YOUR 'CAR'. USA! USA!



That's not my car, that's my support vehicle. This is my car:

Date: 2009/09/16 10:05:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Stanton @ Sep. 16 2009,09:53)
 
Quote (nmgirl @ Sep. 16 2009,09:27)
FL, what is a "biblical christian"? Is this your definition who believes in a literal interpretation of every word in the bible?  so what do you call us who are not literalists?  Oh wait, i know the answer:  hell bound, spawns of Satan, evilutionists.

FL is a hypocrite even when it comes to taking the Bible literally.  One thread where this came up, he essentially said it was alright not to kill people who disobey the many, many laws in the Book of Deuteronomy that demand death as punishment, i.e., eating milk with meat, eating shellfish, eating pork, wearing fabrics of mixed thread, working on Saturday, being a fussy or unruly child, etc.

If he were a genuine Biblical literalist, he would be making demands that goat breeders breed striped goats by showing the copulating animals striped sticks, in addition to demanding death to people who violate the laws of Deuteronomy.

Actually he would not. The most you could demand of him is that he acknowledged that at one time the laws of a now non-existent nation demanded capital punishment for many crimes, and that at one time Jacob bred fancy livestock by the method you described.  As a literalist he could still argue, convincingly if he knows how, that those laws are null and void, even given the jot and tittle passage, and that Jacob's genetic engineering was accomplished by one-time divine intervention to further God's redemptive plan. (Now whether Jacob knew it or not remains unanswered.)

He could argue it--not me. That is, I've made the exegetical argument a gazillion times and am not interested in making it again.

Date: 2009/09/16 10:28:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 16 2009,10:16)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2009,10:05)
I've made the exegetical argument a gazillion times...

WHAT IS THIS EXAGGERATIONAL ARGUMENT YOU TALK ABOUT?

The exaggeration is this:

Even without Yankee help, Rich Hughes and Louis wouldn't be speaking German. Times Two.

Date: 2009/09/16 11:24:45, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2009,11:07)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2009,16:28)
     
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 16 2009,10:16)
         
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2009,10:05)
I've made the exegetical argument a gazillion times...

WHAT IS THIS EXAGGERATIONAL ARGUMENT YOU TALK ABOUT?

The exaggeration is this:

Even without Yankee help, Rich Hughes and Louis wouldn't be speaking German. Times Two.

Typical fundamentalist christian, can't tell the difference between fact and fiction as usual.

Louis

P.S. You get a D-, must try harder. WWII is soooooooo last century.

Fact, why I'll show you a fact! Come visit me. We have facts within walking distance. I live in Yorktown Virginia! Does that mean anything to ya? Do the facts surrender and Cornwallis ring a bell? Huh? How do you like them facts?

Now, about WWII being so long ago--let's see--some sort of yard stick would come in handy--what can we use. Oh:

• WWII ends, thanks to Yankee bravery, industrial strength, and scientific might*: 1945

• Fred Perry is the last Englishman to win the men's singles at Wimbledon: 1935

Hmm. I guess you're right--it was a long time ago!

---------------
* And the fact that God was on our side.

----------
EDIT: Yes I edited. Added the footnote about God.

Date: 2009/09/16 12:41:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (FloydLee @ Sep. 16 2009,12:27)
Quicknote:  I did see your post DHeddle.  I want to respond to that one in detail.  Along with my promise to check on GMorton WRT the Big Four, I will very probably need from now through Friday, maybe Saturday, to get that all in.

FloydLee

Fair enough.

Date: 2009/09/16 15:12:21, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2009,13:38)
Oh and who the hell cares about tennis? It's called "woolly balls" for a reason. Find a proper sport. When's the last time you beat us at rugby or cricket?

Not "American Football"* or "Baseball"**, but real sports played outside the USA by lots of important folks like the Aussies***.

Louis

* A game of badly played rugby for homosexualist motorcycle couriers who are afraid of getting hurt and have to wear pads.

** Badly played cricket for people who can't manage a full test match length sport.

*** I have made the point before that colonials frequently misunderstand the true nature of a test match. It is a test of manners. If they beat us then, as we are the inventors of the sport, they clearly haven't been playing properly and thus have failed the test of manners we set them.

Are you kidding? Rugby players are, by comparison to American football players, sissies. Take, for example, football  helmets. Using the same logic that suggests beer should be consumed at room temperature, you conclude that they are protection. They are not--they're  deadly weapons that transform a sedate game like Rugby into a death match. No Rugby player would ram his head at 25 mph* into the back of another player. But in football that happens--a polycarbonate instrument O' death (the helmet) is directed into the opponent's kidneys at high velocity. Why, your average Rugby player would run and hide.  

As for international competition, I notice you didn't ask about soccer (yeah that's right, soccer) we beat you in your own boring national game, soccer. We probably didn't even know the rules, and we won anyway.

When is that last time you beat us in our national game?

We beat you in wars and in soccer. You have rodent mothers and your fathers smell of elderberries. Your food sucks. USA, USA!  (I admit Wales is a much cooler place, and it does produce beautiful women who also happen to be smart enough to marry the winners!)

------------------------
* Since they are all fat white guys, none of them can run that fast anyhoo.

Date: 2009/09/17 06:49:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Sep. 17 2009,03:54)
 
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 16 2009,22:20)
     
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2009,15:23)
I know you consider it optional to be minimally informed before holding forth on a subject, but really Heddle, this is bad even for you.

Oh, lighten up. Heddle's contrived machismo and posturing is all just compensation for his diminutive.........automobile*.

* Not that there is anything wrong with a Honda Element.  Out here in Real America, there are any number of soccer mom's that drive them.

Apparently they are well received by trendy gay men as well.*

____


*Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Oh noes--I've been worried about this since I started having feelings that I'd like to move to London.

Date: 2009/09/22 06:44:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Slightly off topic, but I have received another bannination, at least I think I have, this time from Jerry Coyne's blog. It is odd because I have only commented there, at most, ten times --and never anything especially rude, tasteless or offensive (nor was I purple, obsequious or clairvoyant). Mostly I commented on a few of his "fatheist" and "only one way of knowing" threads.

But the last two times I tried to post--nothing--the comment was disappeared into the aether.

If so, it is a low-class banning, since I was never warned, no shot across the bow, and never told. Is that what you guys call a silent banning?

Are all people in Chicago so bloody insecure? Hughes, any comment?

Date: 2009/09/22 12:23:55, Link
Author: dheddle
FloydLee,
   
Quote
But as the OEC's Ross and Rana and Deem and Archer and Etc would tell you, the age of the universe or the earth is not necessarily incompatible with Christianity.

They don’t say that, but you do. Your point 4, I’ll remind you, was:      
Quote
Evolution teaches (and absolutely requires) the historical claim of  Death-Before-Adam, in clear violation and opposition to Romans 5:12-17.

(Emphasis in original.)

As I said earlier, death before the fall is not a “problem” unique to evolution; it is a problem for any old-earth view. So an OEC like Ross, even though he denies evolution, is not compatible with Christianity, according to your point 4, for the same reason you claim evolution is not compatible. If death before Adam is the issue, then Ross and Heddle* are just as heretical as Dawkins and Darwin. (Indeed, in their debate, YEC Kent Hovind labeled Ross a heretic.  See here, and there are YouTubes of the debate where Hovind makes the charge.)

Every introductory physics book and every Astronomy book will make mention of the age of the universe and the earth, either in reference to cosmology or to radioactive dating—or probably both. None will even give lip service to lunatic fringe theories that suggest multiple radioisotopes have conspired to adjust their half-lives to give the same wrong answer.  So those books are adamant that the universe is billions, not thousands of years old. And therefore, by implication, there was much death, red tooth and claw, and gnashing of teeth prior to the fall of man. Therefore, by your definition, the teachings of these texts are incompatible with Christianity.

-----------------
* I'm dheddle, dammit.

-----------------
EDIT verb subject matches, dropped letters, etc.

Date: 2009/09/22 13:27:47, Link
Author: dheddle
FloydLee,

Quote
(b) it was already established that NONE of the Big Five involve the age of the earth or the age of the universe.
(And please notice:  Nobody in this forum has been able to demonstrate that any of the specific Big Five Incompatibililtes is dependent upon any given age of the earth/ any given age of the universe, whether old or young.)


Established by whom?

Come on now, that makes no sense. “Death before Adam” is your biggie number 4. That absolutely demands that the earth is young. It is absolutely incompatible with an old earth. There is no such animal as an OEC view that does not have death before Adam. Ross certainly believes there was death and mass extinctions prior to the arrival of Adam. For you to deny that your #4 does not demand a young earth is beyond the pale. It’s looking at white, and confidently saying it was established to be black.

Hovind called Ross a heretic. In this you can at least say that he was consistent. If you actually believe that death before Adam destroys the gospel, as you wrote concerning number 4:
Quote
This one is the worst of all, because it directly crashes into the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is no way to escape the broken-glass impact of this one.

(Boldface in original.)

then you should be calling all those who claim there was untold death prior to the fall—e.g., both the pope and Hugh Ross, heretics—for what makes one an apostate is to preach an incorrect gospel. You are supposed to, as Hovind did, and as Paul instructed, let them be anathema.

Date: 2009/09/23 14:02:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 23 2009,11:54)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 22 2009,01:44)
Slightly off topic, but I have received another bannination, at least I think I have, this time from Jerry Coyne's blog. It is odd because I have only commented there, at most, ten times --and never anything especially rude, tasteless or offensive (nor was I purple, obsequious or clairvoyant). Mostly I commented on a few of his "fatheist" and "only one way of knowing" threads.

But the last two times I tried to post--nothing--the comment was disappeared into the aether.

If so, it is a low-class banning, since I was never warned, no shot across the bow, and never told. Is that what you guys call a silent banning?

Are all people in Chicago so bloody insecure? Hughes, any comment?

Now I've time on my hands, I'll take up the cudgel for you if you like.

No need, but a sincere thanks for the offer.

Date: 2009/09/24 13:04:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (SLP @ Sep. 24 2009,12:41)
I'm still concerned about the Christian cult's fixation on the penis.  
Nowadays, of course, we have 'family values' Christian conservatives either obsessing over - and strangely knowing all about - homesexual sex acts or being closet homesexuals themselves.

But in Yahweh's day, boy, foreskins were king:

Habakkuk 2:16 - Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing [shall be] on thy glory.


Genesis 17:14 - And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.


Genesis 17:11 - And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.


1 Samuel 18:25 - And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:27 - Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

Joshua 5:3 - And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.


It was a regular wienerfest!

Let me guess - all metaphotical?

Not metaphorical. There was good reason why there were more female converts to Judaism than men.

The men often chose the lesser commitment of the so-called  God-fearers. These men were loosely attached to the synagogue and enjoyed a subset of the privileges of full membership. In return, they agreed to obey some of the law (for example, to keep the Sabbath) and to live in a morally acceptable way. They didn't have to be circumcised. They were the low hanging fruit (bad metaphor?) and were among the first converts to Christianity.

Date: 2009/10/01 13:50:57, Link
Author: dheddle
FL,

Augustine did not take Genesis literally.  Instantaneous does not mean six days. Instantaneous creation is an infinite number of orders of magnitude different from six days. A 14 bya universe only differs by a mere 12 OOM. In that sense, Augustine is the most radical non-literalist of all time. He would say to you: "My god don't need no six days to create a universe!"

Date: 2009/10/03 05:04:17, Link
Author: dheddle
I'm done with this thread. If FL ever addresses my critcism of point four of his manifesto, which I posted on page one of this travesty, maybe someome would be kind enough to notify me by PM.

Date: 2009/10/05 11:16:01, Link
Author: dheddle
FL,

Let’s start with your "response" to my claims about Augustine.

There was no claim by me that Augustine did not take any part of Genesis literally. That goes without saying. The most ardent non-literalist conservative Christian will still take much if not most of Genesis literally. They will agree, for example, that God made a covenant with Abraham.

I made the specific claim that Augustine did not take the creation days literally, and he didn't. (Nor, by the way, did many revered church fathers, such as Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, … most of whom who argued one creation day = 1000 years ( a la 2 Pet 3:8) to solve the very same "in that day you will surely die" problem.)

Your response to me was not to the point and it was disingenuous. To any reader it would be clear that I gave an example (an important one, the creation days) where Augustine flatly denied that a creation day from Genesis One was a literal 24 hour day, and you answered as if I had stated "Augustine did not take anything in Genesis literally."  You wrote
         
Quote
(FL) But some Genesis things, Augustine DID take literally.  We know this from his own writings.

Which nobody disputed. Changing someone's argument (in my case: Augustine did not take the creation days literally) into a trivially dismissible claim (Augustine didn't take anything in Genesis literally) is dishonest. But that never stopped you.

You also wrote, irrelevantly:
         
Quote
(FL) But [Augustine’s view] does mean YEC.  It only rationally fits in with YEC beliefs (a less than 6000-yr-old Earth).

Which is logically false.  Yes, Augustine was a YEC—to first order everyone was a YEC prior to there being any reason not to be a YEC, but your logic that instantaneous creation "only rationally fits" with a YEC view is fatally flawed. There is no reason why an old universe or earth could not have been created instantly. Augustine's YEC belief came from his matching historic events in the OT to known dates. It was not a necessary consequence of his view of instantaneous creation. In some sense OECs like Hugh Ross believe in both the instantaneous creation of the universe (the Big Bang) and an old earth. (Hugh Ross, by the way, claims to take Genesis as literally as you do—but that the Hebrew yöm should have been translated as age, not [24-hour] day—so there are even OECs who are biblical literalists.)

Now to the "in that day you shall surely die" conundrum.

I wrote:
       
Quote
(DHeddle)  The first objection is not the more important one—but rather just a note on precision. Verse 12 informs us that death came to all men. It says nothing about animals.

This is more of a nitpick. It makes the point that YECs use this verse to “prove” that there was no animal death before the fall, but the verse in question:  
       
Quote
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned (Rom 5:12)

states absolutely nothing, with certainty, about animal death. There is no logic by which Romans 5:12 absolutely precludes the possibility that, prior to Adam's sin, an elephant crushed an ant. The verse is at least arguably, if not most likely, by its construction, concerned only with humans. Even when taking about sin, it is talking about man's sin, not about sin first appearing on the earth. Why? Because Christian theology would state that Satan was already on the earth, sinning, before man’s fall.

You response, in a nutshell: "No this verse is about animal death. It must be read this way:  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death [to man and animals] through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.  I win. Game over. Next?"

Then you present this "unanswerable" conundrum from an ICR yahoo (Stambaugh):
         
Quote
(ICR Yahoo) We are told in Hebrews 9:22, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." So a blood sacrifice is only necessary if there is sin. The rest of the Old Testament has similar treatment of sacrifice for atonement.

If there was animal death before the fall of man, then God and all those who followed His pattern did useless acts. One must observe that in the atonement the animal loses its life in the place of the human. If animal death existed before the fall, then the object lesson represented by the atoning sacrifice is in reality a cruel joke.


It doesn't really have to be resolved, because it  simply the ICR’s (and your, you have learned well, Obi Won) most sacred method: the because we say so argument. There is no logic presented here—the argument is that if there was animal death before the fall then "the acts [of Temple sacrifice] are useless." Why are they useless? Stambaugh  (or Henry Morris, whom he is parroting) doesn't say.  I believe there was death before the fall. I believe the animal sacrifice before the fall was a type of Jesus’ Atonement. I don't think it was useless. What makes it useless? No reason is given. Henry Morris (here through a mouth piece) sez so. That is enough.

Regarding Gen. 2:17, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."  You took exactly the approach I said you would take.
         
Quote
(FL) Adam and Eve died spiritually that very day--just like God said--but the spiritual death that hit them that day took a while to overcome their physical bodies.  Oh, they died that same day--death was already operating both spiritually and physically--but it took a while for them to complete the process of physical death and decay.

You concede, as you must, that 'die' refers to spiritual death. (You write it now as if it were obvious, but before I pointed out the reasons for it to mean spiritual death you never mentioned the fact.) Then you simply tack on, as an unnecessary complication that perhaps cannot be ruled out but most definitely cannot be demonstrated, that it also refers to physical death. So the "plain and literal reading of the text" you are so proud of becomes:

"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die a spiritual death instantly, and you will begin the process of a physical death, which will take some time."

Never mind that in all other cases that I'm aware of, when God spoke of a penalty of physical death he meant: right then and there. He did not give the inhabitants of Sodom cancer so that they would "start the process of dying"—he killed them. When Uzzah touched the ark he did not get radiation poisoning and die a few weeks later, he dropped dead. For Adam the penalty was to be death on that day, and your "literal" solution is that he started to die but lingered for another nine centuries.

It is mildly annoying that you argue poorly. Many people do. But it is repulsive that you argue poorly and then declare victory. Smugness and competence are an unseemly but bearable combination. Smugness and incompetence is just hideous. And since we are nominally on the same side, believers bearing witness to the AtBC heathen hordes, it's an embarrassment.

Date: 2009/11/02 15:00:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 02 2009,13:39)
Haven't we done this already?

I guess ID as science doesn't have a prayer.  I really wanted those questions answered too.  

Can we have more fun with Floyd then?

Hey Floyd, ever eat pork (including pork chops, bacon, canadian bacon, hot dogs, or pigs ears)?  That's literally forbidden in the bible...

Actually it is not illegal to eat pork, in the sense that it applies to any Christian. As an example of the mistake you are making, sacrificing animals for sin atonement is commanded in the OT but it would be an abomination and the mother-of-all blasphemes in the NT. You have to remember that the seminal event in Christian history, the incarnation, substitutional death and resurrection of Christ, means there was a phase shift between the OT and the NT. Why people think that there was not a radical difference from before Christ arrived and after he achieved redemption is--to say the least--puzzling.

Not to mention that, in this case, the NT literally states that all food is lawful.

And, not that I am especially happy about agreeing with FL, and not that I even know that I am because I will not be bothered to go back and read the previous posts, but just for a point of argument, the New Testament does not, at all, condone slavery.

Date: 2009/11/02 15:20:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (FrankH @ Nov. 02 2009,15:10)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 02 2009,15:00)
And, not that I am especially happy about agreeing with FL, and not that I even know that I am because I will not be bothered to go back and read the previous posts, but just for a point of argument, the New Testament does not, at all, condone slavery.

I have no doubt it was not in favor of it, but like the NT changes the OT here, why is Floyd so insistent about the OT when it comes to Genesis but so willing to wipe away the OT when it comes to slavery?

Sounds like "selective reading" to me.

Like I said I haven't gone back to read the posts from the month or longer I've been gone. But there is no question at all that as far as the OT is concerned it was acceptable, under the correct circumstances, for the Jews to own slaves. And to commit ethnic cleansing. And to stone homosexuals and adulterers. It's inescapable. The error I always fight is when someone argues that, according to the bible, those things must still be lawful for Christians, but our cafeteria-style selection process causes us to hypocritically ignore those inconvenient legalities--when in truth such things are manifestly illegal for all Christians.

Date: 2009/11/02 15:25:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (FrankH @ Nov. 02 2009,15:15)
 
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 02 2009,15:09)
 
Quote
And, not that I am especially happy about agreeing with FL, and not that I even know that I am because I will not be bothered to go back and read the previous posts, but just for a point of argument, the New Testament does not, at all, condone slavery.
Hmm.  Now to move on.  :)

Of course Floyd but please note, the NT does not Condemn Slavery either.

Yes it does. The second greatest commandment for the Christian, and the first when it comes to how humans are to behave toward one another, is to love our neighbor as ourself. Slavery is manifestly incompatible with Jesus' primary instruction for human relations.

Date: 2009/11/02 15:52:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (FrankH @ Nov. 02 2009,15:33)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 02 2009,15:25)
   
Quote (FrankH @ Nov. 02 2009,15:15)
   
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 02 2009,15:09)
   
Quote
And, not that I am especially happy about agreeing with FL, and not that I even know that I am because I will not be bothered to go back and read the previous posts, but just for a point of argument, the New Testament does not, at all, condone slavery.
Hmm.  Now to move on.  :)
Of course Floyd but please note, the NT does not Condemn Slavery either.
Yes it does. The second greatest commandment for the Christian, and the first when it comes to how humans are to behave toward one another, is to love our neighbor as ourself. Slavery is manifestly incompatible with Jesus' primary instruction for human relations.

Color it however you want.  I disagree it condemns slavery.  Slave traders, yes.  Jesus also said that he was to reinforce the Laws of Moses, not repeal them.

Seems to me that the NT told the Slave Master to "Love" their slaves.

But then again, I also think that any literal reading of the NT and OT if they ever two parts for some god, shows a bi-polar god.

Actually he never said that. And in effect he replaced them all (Moses' laws) with a fuller revelation of the law. Moses' law against adultery got replaced, in a direct statement, by Jesus' law against lust. Moses' law against murder, in a direct statement, by Jesus' law against hate. Moses' law on divorce was effectively replaced with: never. Laws on tithing were replaced by: give what you can joyfully, or don't even bother. Moses' pattern "Don't do this or that" was in fact entirely abandoned, replaced by Jesus' tougher laws concerned what you think rather than what you do or don't do.

The law that maintains each jot and tittle is Jesus' law, not Moses'. Following the pattern, the OT is a type or shadow of the NT. If you take the time to study Jesus' law, as his teaching on what is sin, which is quite different from the Mosaic law, and if you understand Paul's proper emphasis on the true gospel as opposed to an imaginary social gospel--then you can grasp why there is no explicit condemnation of slavery. If you are interested, I have a small post on this subject here.

It is not a bi-polar God, but one who demonstrated through the Jews that even the most privileged nation will not be able to save itself through obedience. That a savior was necessary or all are lost.

Date: 2009/11/02 16:21:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Lou,

Why contortions? It is only so if you view Jesus as an intercalation. That there was a “before”, then a period when Jesus was around, and then after he was gone we more or less we went back. But I would argue that is not only the improper way to view redemptive history—but that it should not make sense to anyone, even biblical and Christian critics. I would argue that it should be obvious to anyone who studies Christianity, even unbelievers, that Christianity self-consistently holds that when Christ said: it is finished that everything changed radically. It does not mean the OT is worthless, not by a long shot, for it presents, through God’s dealings with the Jews, the context of Jesus’ arrival and his ministry and a clear picture of man’s depravity. But is means that the OT described a way for a now extinct nation and a specific race to live, and the NT describes a way for Christians to live, and there is not reason whatsoever for the two to align.

FL,

I kind of enjoyed the Privileged Planet and don’t believe that Gonzalez and Richards made any gross errors in the book. With at least one obvious exception—the so-called falsifiability claims. These are not scientific falsifiability arguments. They are of the “I double dare you” type challenge, which has no place in science. Examples can be found on both sides of the evolution/ID-debate. “You can falsify irreducible complexity, just demonstrate how the flagellum evolved.” Or “You can falsify evolution, just find a Precambrian rabbit.” Scientific falsifiability does not follow this pattern. We don't say: "If Al Sharpton ever floats off the planet then gravity is falsified." The scientific pattern is this one: If you do this experiment with this equipment and you get result A then my theory is falsified. None of the Gonzalez and Richards test follow the accepted pattern used by scientists. They resemble the Al Sharpton pattern.

EDIT: typo correction. (And then some more.)

Date: 2009/11/04 04:21:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (FrankH @ Nov. 03 2009,11:54)
Speaking of weird things:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum....74&st=0

This guy thinks that he's asking something simple, like "Show us the morphological changes from the whale's ancestor to the Sperm Whale", or "Is the Komodo Dragon a descendant of some dinosaur?"

Good stuff.

When you introduce a new site, and I've already been banned from it, it tells me I've spent too much time on the internet.

Date: 2009/11/04 08:16:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Robin @ Nov. 04 2009,07:59)
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 04 2009,06:55)

 
Quote
   
Quote
Floaty won't or can't address the fallacies and illogical steps already pointed out to him.

Already refuted (from the book, ahemm) your claim that Dr. Gonzalez assumed his conclusions.   You could at least acknowledge that much.


LOL! Umm...negative Floyd. There is no question that Gonzalez assumes his conclusions AND starts with a faulty premise. He assumes that there must be a reason this universe is fined tuned and assumes that reason is humans, but there is no evidence this universe is fine tuned (there's no other universes to compare it to...for all Gonzalez knows EVERY universe MUST have these parameters) and there's no evidence humans had to exist.

Actually there is compelling evidence that our universe is fine-tuned, if by fine-tuned you mean (what I mean): that the possibility of any kind of life at all is very sensitive to the values of the physical constants.

Or, more mundanely, the ability of our universe to produce rocks appears to rest on a razor's edge.

Using that definition it is more or less universally accepted that our universe is fine-tuned.

Date: 2009/11/04 11:25:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (rossum @ Nov. 04 2009,10:55)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,08:16)
Or, more mundanely, the ability of our universe to produce rocks appears to rest on a razor's edge.

The universe is better tuned for rocks than it is for us.  The greatest part of the universe is interstellar and intergalactic space which in extremely inhospitable for us but hospitable for rocks.  Rocks can survive in the cold and anoxic conditions that occupy 99.99% of the universe, while we cannot.

We are merely an an unintended consequence of a universe designed to be hospitable for rocks.

rossum

Maybe. But the point is that any universe that can produce life must be able to produce rocks. And our universe, it would (at least at the moment) appear, just barely produces rocks. That gives it a shot at supporting life. Whether life is improbable in such a universe I couldn't say--but without the rocks, there will be no life.

Date: 2009/11/04 11:58:00, Link
Author: dheddle
I know I have stated this before but is relevant. The Privileged Planet is, in fact, in at least one important way, slightly anti-ID.

Here is how. If you look at Hugh Ross’s arguments you will find that he presents observability as a tie-breaker. That is, in choosing between God and the multiverse he brings up the bonus fine-tuning trump card—that we are, without any reason to expect it, in a spectacularly good observational platform. And we are in the best time period for cosmological observations (distant galaxies will blink off due to accelerated expansion). And our large moon is scientifically beneficial in a number of ways, etc. It is as if, according to Ross, God wants us to do science. (I agree, by the way.)

Gonzalez and Richards actually pull the rug out from under this argument. They argue that observability is not a second, independent miracle—not a tie breaker at all. They weaken Ross’s cosmological ID argument in that they remove his tie breaker. Instead they argue—to me what seems in hindsight to be almost obvious—that observability is highly correlated with habitability.  Ross makes them independent. Gonzalez and Richards join them at the hip. According to the PP, you have to be in a cosmic backwater or radiation will get you—and that gives you a nice dark night sky. You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy. You need a large moon for orbit stabilization. Etc.

I think their arguments are reasonable and in some sense obvious. I think it is interesting that they in fact undermine the "independently fine-tuned for observation" argument of Ross.

Date: 2009/11/04 13:10:21, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Chayanov @ Nov. 04 2009,12:20)
   
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:09)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:58)
You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy.

Do you think it is possible that the "visible part of the spectrum" is so-named because we (the wonderful entities focusing on how wonderful it is that we are here in this wonderful situation) have photoreceptors that work with the light that makes it through our atmosphere?

Do you think it is possible that organisms on other planets with other atmospheres admitting other wavelengths might have photoreceptors that work at those wavelengths?

Sheesh.

Wait, you mean if we could see different wavelengths then we would have a completely different definition of "visible"? But then that means the fine-tuning argument isn't an argument at all.

Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry. First of all there are, at first glance, three facts in play here.

1) The sun has a peak wavelength.
2) The atmosphere is narrowly transparent
3) Our eyes are sensitive to certain wavelengths.

Now the fact that all three coincide is remarkable. Of course evolution is a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why our eyes are sensitive to the peak of the sun’s spectrum. But (as far as I know) there is no strong evolutionary argument as to why the atmosphere must be (narrowly) transparent at the same wavelengths. (Not much UV or IR gets through.) That seems to be luck. Furthermore chemistry is chemistry, and (if Louis the chemist is around he can correct me) it is also true that the energy levels of many carbon molecules—which would be the same anywhere—have much overlap with what we call visible light—enabling, for example, photosynthesis.

In other words, if our atmosphere was transparent to UV and not visible light would there be a viable replacement for photosynthesis? Would our eyes have evolved to be sensitive to UV and ignore the sun’s peak wavelengths? Or would we still have evolved to be sensitive to the sun’s peak—but would have had an opaque sky? (and therefore no astronomy.) The answer is none of the above—most likely we wouldn’t be here. So the PP result stands—again in a sort of common sense way. Complex life probably requires the coincidence of an atmosphere transparent at the peak of its sun’s emission, and probably that has to be in what we call visible light. At least that is a serious and obvious advantage, and as a consequence it enables Astronomy.

Try not to have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong. If you think about it with an open mind you might conclude that their argument has merit without it demanding support for ID. At least I have come to believe that, independent of ID, their argument that habitability and observability are correlated is correct.

Erasmus, FCD

Quote
you could restate that as anything.  "bollocks".  any universe capable of producing life must also be capable of producing bollocks.  i decided.  


No, rocks are indeed the key. Because rocks require heavy elements. Heavy elements are created in stars. So a universe that creates rocks is a universe that first created stars that synthesized the heavy elements in the rocks. Rocks are a sign that your universe has heavy elements and stars. You cannot have any kind of life without heavy elements. When examining other universes for life--first look for rocks. They should be a ubiquitous precursor.

Date: 2009/11/04 14:10:14, Link
Author: dheddle
John W,

As you point out, the problems with big stars include (but are not limited to) the fact that they don’t live long enough. (Nor are they as luminosity stable.)

What you forgot to point out is that in the case of Red Dwarf stars, we would have to be close enough (for the existence of liquid water)  that we would phase lock (like Mercury)—almost certainly rendering the planet sterile. Not to mention that the energy flux would be much less, and at wavelengths not particularly synergistic with carbon Chemistry.

OgreMkV

   
Quote
IR is heat, so a lot of that energy gets through the atmosphere.  Some UV definitely gets through otherwise, I wouldn't need SPF 4000.  



I didn’t invent that argument, it is established fact.




The fact that only a little UV gets through and yet it is still highly destructive to organic molecules strengthens my case: if the atmosphere was as transparent to UV as it is to visible, you would need SPF 4 trillion. And that is not a threat to our kind of life but any kind of life. Again, that is why visible is not just what we happen to call visible because of chauvinism. The visible part of the spectrum works well with carbon chemistry without destroying it as UV would or interacting too weakly such as IR does.

I sort of find the resistance to the PP argument strange. After all there are ~10^22 planets in the observable universe. If life is rare, then any planet supporting life is indeed privileged—and yet because of such big numbers there needn’t be any theological significance to our planet being privileged. It appears to me that the mere possibility (personally I believe it is true) that our planet possesses a rare confluence and that this might be co-opted for theological purposes should play no role in the scientific discussion.

Doc Bill,

 
Quote
just so we don't assume that life as we know it is the only kind of life possible in the universe.  Considering the ingenuity of extremeophiles at harvesting energy we would be presumptuous to assume that carbon, water, etc are essential to life.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe extremophiles are carbon based. I disagree with your view. Life requires complex molecules to store information. Nothing comes close to carbon in its ability to form complex molecules. And water and carbon (and visible light) work well together, in addition to water being nature's great solvent. It is reasonable to believe (and I think many biochemists do) that any complex life will be carbon based and will almost certainly require the rather unique properties of liquid water.

Date: 2009/11/04 15:14:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,15:08)
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:57)
I should apologize to Mr. Heddle for poking at him at Pharyngula long ago -- I wasn't sure it was him, anyway, if he even recalls. Mr. Heddle appears reasonable in most of his arguments, except for Nascar and such. By the way, Mr. Heddle, I ran across a hot nascar babe for your delectation:  

I didn't know Sarah Palin had tattoos.

She's a Jeff Gordon fan. What do you expect? I'm pretty sure she is an, um, associate of Mr. Richard Hughes.

Date: 2009/11/04 15:59:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Nov. 04 2009,10:35)
So now StephenB tells us that faith tramples science to ID advocates:      
Quote
I think that [you] are operating under a false assumption when you suggest that ID advocates think science is more important than faith. No ID scientist ever subordinated the latter to the former. Quite the contrary, Behe, Dembski, Myers, as well as many like myself, refuse to compromise even one portion of their faith in the name of science. That is because we all realize that there is only one truth with many aspects. It is the theistic evolutionists, who believe that truth is divided—who hold that there is one truth for theology and another for science—who jettison Christian doctrines such as “the fall,” original sin, and singularity of our first parents in order to maintain their precious Darwinist paradigm.

Perhaps you would be happier with someone like Hugh Ross, who approaches things in exactly the way you prefer. On the other hand, if you want ID to unite, why not come to us rather than ask us to come to you.


If you consider Hugh Ross to be an appeaser, well, what can I say?

They hate Ross because, well, he is honest. Agree with him or not--he proudly proclaims the designer is God. So he has the cajones (which they lack) to admit that it is about religion.  Also Ross did have an actual scientific career. And he doesn't buy the big-tent crap--he routinely attacks YEC science.

But the real sin of Ross (I kid you not you can find somewhere on UD if you look hard enough) is that he doesn't sell Dembski's books on his website's bookstore.

Date: 2009/11/04 16:31:16, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,15:24)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,13:23)
Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry.

This is all still question-begging. We have the biology we have because of the conditions that pertain on this planet, not the other way around.

Is carbon chemistry the only way to get biology? Maybe, and it certainly is the only way that we get the biology that we observe. But isn't it also possible that other types of chemistry are capable of supporting entities that reproduce, reduce entropy in a local manner, and all of the other things that we associate with life?  The answer to that is "I don't know, and neither do you". But to say "No it is not possible" is, IMHO, hubris.

The point is that we have things we call "living", and a spectra we call "visible", because we evolved on this planet. To say that the planet was perfectly made for us is ass-backward, and is, as others are fond of saying, equivalent to saying that the depression in the asphalt was perfectly made for that puddle of water.

I don't have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong; thanks for that vote of confidence. I do have an ability to look at the arguments, and find them remarkably unconvincing. Their use of these unconvincing arguments to advance a theological agenda does nothing to convince me further.

And based on a sample size of 1, I find it remarkable that you would buy the argument that habitability and observability are correlated. Look up the roots of that verb "correlate". Don't you need more than one observation to correlate with another?

Not a sample size of 1 is sufficient. Correlated means mutually or reciprocally related. In that sense it doesn't require statistics.

Now, fair enough, we are not talking science here--but whether or not their arguments are reasonable.

I think they are common sense.

For example we are in a low density part of the galaxy. Right away that tells you that it is probably necessary to be in a low density part of the galaxy--since by a pick-a-star-at-random draw we would expect to find ourselves in a  high density part. But it doesn't take much to figure out that high density regions are indeed inhospitable. More ambient radiation. More orbital perturbations. More life-extinguishing supernovae, etc.

So habitability places us in a low density region. But a low density region allows us to see outside of our galaxy. It permits cosmology. In high density regions of the Milky way we could not do cosmology.

In this example, trivially I would argue, habitibility is correlated with observability.

How is that argument wrong? If they are simply wrong--then tell me how the argument I just made is manifestly wrong.

The only thing that I can see that makes it controversial is that they then throw in their theological implications. But if you ignore those I would argue that their claims are, at a minimum, reasonable speculation. And I would argue that their view would be non-controversial without the ID connotation.

EDIT: typo

Date: 2009/11/04 16:38:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 04 2009,16:12)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,15:59)
But the real sin of Ross (I kid you not you can find somewhere on UD if you look hard enough) is that he doesn't sell Dembski's books on his website's bookstore.

Found it!

You da man!

Date: 2009/11/04 17:03:14, Link
Author: dheddle
To Albatrossity2 and all:

I retract the "hair trigger" comment. That was cheap shot, uncalled for, and insulting.

I apologize.

Date: 2009/11/05 04:17:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,20:02)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,17:03)
To Albatrossity2 and all:

I retract the "hair trigger" comment. That was cheap shot, uncalled for, and insulting.

I apologize.

Thanks, Dave. I also appreciate the opportunity to converse with grownups, and the opportunity to disagree in a cordial scientific manner.

Trivially, re the correlation between observability and habitability, is the atmosphere on Mars amenable to observability? According to Wikipedia, it's mostly CO2, nitrogen and argon. If it is an atmosphere that lends itself to observability, and yet Mars is not considered habitable, how does this affect the claimed correlation between observability and habitability?

Secondly, the fact that we can "do cosmology" is wonderful, especially for physicists, but is it really something that is necessarily correlated with life? Could organisms exist in situations where they couldn't "do cosmology"? I think that they could, so what does that "common sense" postulate do for the argument that there exists a correlation between observability and habitability?

Bottom line - I'd think that physicists, of all people, should understand that the universe can hold things that are surprising, non-intuitive or even counter-intuitive, and that our observations of our own private planet might (just might) be parochial. What is wrong with the argument that says other forms of biology might not exist, or even other universes?

And if you acknowledge those as possibilities, I think that the PP arguments of Gonzalez and Richards degenerate into apologetics.

Well maybe correlation isn't the right word--but at any rate the answer to the Mars question is that the claim is not "observability implies habitability" but the other way around.

Similarly, the claim is not that "doing cosmology" is necessary for life, but rather the opportunity for doing cosmology (the ability to see deep space, assuming you can see) is simply a byproduct of the planet's habitability.

Date: 2009/11/05 12:03:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Robin @ Nov. 05 2009,11:45)
 
Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 05 2009,11:33)

   
Quote
So, what is a testable difference between a universe that is specifically designed for us and any other universe?


And while you're at it Floyd, please explain how Gonzalez, et al, aren't question begging to when they present the argument "the conditions to support life, particularly humans, are rare and a narrow range, therefore the universe must have been fine-tuned since any deviation of that range would not have allowed us to exist." As I've noted now four times, Gonzalez does not know what parameters are "normal" for any given universe - the parameters we see could very well be 99.99999999% necessitated by having matter and energy. The writers don't know Floyd, and neither do you. To declare this a "privileged planet" is question at best and likely disingenuous.There is nothing remotely valid about Gonzalez's argument from a scientific perspective.

Again I have to disagree. In our own solar system there are ~8.5 planets and ~175 moons. And it looks like only earth supports complex life. And I don't think any of us would be surprised if it is the only orb in our solar system with any life. So the question is not really whether earth is privileged, our own solar system sets the upper level of its privileged character at ~ one in a hundred.  The question is only one of degree.

And I also disagree that none of Gonzalez's arguments are valid. I see nothing scientifically invalid, for example, in his idea of a galactic habitability zone.That is independent of whether it turns out to be correct. As a scientific concept it it is valid in the sense that it merits consideration. Whether it stands the test of time--who knows.

Date: 2009/11/05 16:03:11, Link
Author: dheddle
On the dead FL thread, OgreMkV wrote

   
Quote
heddle is using the same arguements that he used in 2004 at Panda's Thumb.  I killed the link, but search in the archive for 'Priviliged Planet'.


Is that a criticism? The point remains that their basic premise that a planet that supports complex life will be a good observation platform is quite possibly correct. And as I said, in some cases it is, in my opinion, obvious. It is not, as they claim, falsifiable in a scientific sense. But, like multiple universes, it still might be right. What it is not is dismissible out of hand as nonsense. I asked for a rebuttal of one example: low ambient radiation and no nearby supernovae => we live in a low density region of the galaxy => nice dark sky => astronomy and cosmology possible.

To me that is borderline obvious, with no religious or ID implications required.

So—again—is it a criticism that I am saying what I said in 2004? (if I am—though I thought my arguments changed pretty much on a yearly basis—but let's assume I am—Yes, I’ve been a pretty consistent supporter of the main claim of the PP.)

   
Quote
You'd think in 5 years, someone would come up with a testable experiment to differentiate between a specifically designed universe and one that is not specifically designed.  


And that can't be a criticism aimed at me since I never claimed cosmological ID was science. So my response is—I wouldn't think so at all—I’d be surprised if someone had.

-----------
&^^%$^$!!! Lou I was constructing a big post complete with proofs, theorems, axioms, corollaries and my personal favorite: anomalies-- only to be locked out.

Date: 2009/11/05 16:21:31, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 05 2009,16:10)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 05 2009,17:03)
&^^%$^$!!! Lou I was constructing a big post complete with proofs, theorems, axioms, corollaries and my personal favorite: anomalies-- only to be locked out.

Sorry. I always worry about that when I'm closing a thread.

I'd be interested in seeing it here anyway.

Too late it's all lost. Although my original proofs are in the margins of my notebook--now where is that...

Date: 2009/11/05 16:31:45, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 05 2009,16:27)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 05 2009,17:21)
   
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 05 2009,16:10)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 05 2009,17:03)
&^^%$^$!!! Lou I was constructing a big post complete with proofs, theorems, axioms, corollaries and my personal favorite: anomalies-- only to be locked out.

Sorry. I always worry about that when I'm closing a thread.

I'd be interested in seeing it here anyway.

Too late it's all lost. Although my original proofs are in the margins of my notebook--now where is that...

Geez, good thing the long-sought Theory of Everything wasn't ...

you're going to tell me that's in the notebook, aren't you?

Don't worry it was only the Theory of Mostly Everything. Explanations for "The Richard Hughes Catastrophe" and "The Evolution of J-Dog" were not included.

Date: 2009/11/05 18:27:23, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 05 2009,17:18)
Hypothetically, what if octopuses had built a civilization on the sea floor but never acquired the hobby of looking at the night sky? (After all, they'd need instruments for observations that we can make by eyeball.) What would that do to the observability/habitability correlation?

To me that sounds like something that could happen on an Earth-like planet, even if it didn't on this one.

Henry

It wouldn't negate their argument. Because the earth would still be a good platform for observation--even if the race of octopuses never took advantage of it.

The argument is not anthropomorphic at all. It is not that the planet is designed for people to do science--that's Hugh Ross's argument--and that is an ID argument--but their argument is quite different—in opposition, really. Their argument is that the habitability brings the observability along for the ride--no design required--making no comment as to whether the planet will actually support life that takes advantage of the observability.

Date: 2009/11/06 11:00:18, Link
Author: dheddle
My initial reaction to the concept of Dembski criticizing Collins.

Date: 2009/11/06 11:11:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 06 2009,11:02)
Quote (Freddie @ Nov. 06 2009,09:54)
Perhaps it would improve the reading of it if it was translated into Reverse Polish Notation

Aside:

I always get such a chuckle when one of the kids in one of my classes asks to borrow my calculator. I usually have it back within about 15 seconds.

It's a 1995 model HP 48G from when I went to college at Marshall.

Amen! I enjoy the same guilty pleasure.

Date: 2009/11/06 12:53:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 06 2009,12:03)
With manual and all, this is mine:



ETA to Heddle: Note the colors. heh.

Nice, manly, testosterone-inspired colors. Fortunately Richard's tenure for designing HP's color schemes was short, and included only this monstrosity.



John Calvin, had he lived long enough, would have used the greatest calculator of all time, the "landscape" HP-15c, to compute how many Baptists needed to be, um, re-baptized.


--------------------
EDIT: Wait, on second glance do I see (subedit: in Lou's calc, up top) the dreaded purple and teal? Hughes's influence was far greater than I ever imagined.

Date: 2009/11/06 13:04:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Nov. 06 2009,10:59)
There are operators in quantum mechanics for annihilation and creation of photons, for crying out loud!

And those are good jobs with union pay and benefits, if you can get one.

Date: 2009/11/06 13:49:07, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Nov. 06 2009,13:29)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 06 2009,13:04)
 
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Nov. 06 2009,10:59)
There are operators in quantum mechanics for annihilation and creation of photons, for crying out loud!

And those are good jobs with union pay and benefits, if you can get one.

And when you climb the quantum ladder there is no ceiling!

We must admit, however, that it's not a panacea. For example, there is this strange rule saying you can't commute. What's up with that?

Date: 2009/11/06 14:39:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 06 2009,14:08)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 06 2009,13:53)
EDIT: Wait, on second glance do I see (subedit: in Lou's calc, up top) the dreaded purple and teal? Hughes's influence was far greater than I ever imagined.

You do.

Better look.

I'd worry that prolonged exposure to that color scheme causes shrinkage.

Date: 2009/11/10 17:02:49, Link
Author: dheddle
As O'Leary has drifted of into some new state of consciousness, she has suddenly become much more interesting. If she keeps this up I believe she'll develop a cult following of people who "get" her. But can she maintain this level of intensity?

Date: 2009/11/16 15:20:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 16 2009,14:01)
I think Heddle's bingo card deserves a mention.

Sadly (Hi, KF!), the image link is broken.  Did anyone save a copy?  Heddle?

Imageshack is having problems. I think their server is an old Atari ST.

Anyhow:



I liked the old j-dog avatar--which is why I used it for the free space.
Shot at 2009-11-16

Date: 2009/11/16 15:24:06, Link
Author: dheddle
My favorite moment, btw, was when, after a rash of banninations, John Davison showed up and commented "Where is everyone?" or something to that effect.

Date: 2009/11/16 17:01:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 16 2009,16:47)
Quote (RDK @ Nov. 16 2009,15:26)
 
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 16 2009,14:22)
HEY!  We can't forget this one by noted Archivist / Dumpster Diver Sir Richardthughes:


Wow, how did I miss this?  PoTW material.  The part about God revealing IC to Mike Behe and then "Mike Behe destroys IC" had me in stiches...

It made Pharyngula also. They didn't like it much.

How could they not like it? It's hilarious.

Date: 2009/11/18 06:49:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 17 2009,21:33)
Sometimes, it's the little things that  bring a little tear to my eye. Ah, memories. Davey says he knew all along...

-----

Leo Stotch flaunting the ban hammer was pretty classic, Carlson, planning or no.

Huh?!? I never knew you were that alternative-lifestyles lady. These are mental images and juxtapositions that can never be deleted.

Date: 2009/11/19 09:10:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Thanks, but you forgot to include Sarah on the list of message options. Like: President Sarah Palin winking while throwing the green flag at the 2013 Daytona 500 after announcing on a secret listServ that Kevin Harvick is predestined to win and that all F1 drivers must henceforth wear dresses.

Date: 2009/11/20 06:48:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Tony M Nyphot @ Nov. 19 2009,21:18)
Quote (paragwinn @ Nov. 18 2009,18:54)
   
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 18 2009,11:32)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 18 2009,07:49)
     
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 17 2009,21:33)
Sometimes, it's the little things that  bring a little tear to my eye. Ah, memories. Davey says he knew all along...

-----

Leo Stotch flaunting the ban hammer was pretty classic, Carlson, planning or no.

Huh?!? I never knew you were that alternative-lifestyles lady. These are mental images and juxtapositions that can never be deleted.

Really? Funny stuff right there.

Davey going over to DAJ's blog and spamming the shit out of it in defense of JanieBelle was hysterical.

I saw the spamming. So that was what all that was about? Lou, I've gained a new appreciation for your Jedi-like power of manipulation over the weak-minded.

paragwinn and heddle,

As I'm quite sure both of you are familiar with the personalities involved, sit down when you have an hour or two and read through UDOJ, following the links to UD and JAD and I guarantee it will provide as much amusement and laughs as any other form of entertainment available.

If not, I'll send you both a bottle of scotch.

Is there sort of a starting point? The linked post where the masquerade is revealed doesn't have a sort of "begin here" link. What is the other blog being mentioned, DAJ? Is that one of Davison's blog?

I have a faculty meeting at noon, and it would be nice to have some entertaining reading to get me through it.

Date: 2010/01/20 17:33:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 20 2010,13:34)
 
Quote (Henry J @ Jan. 20 2010,12:59)
Robin,
   
Quote
What does 'matter isn't continuous'/'energy isn't continuous'/etc mean?


Matter is made of atoms (hence the phrase "atomic theory" in my earlier note), with space between them - i.e., not continuous as I assume it was previously thought. (On a side note, the writers of movies like "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" apparently still believes that matter is continuous, since the stuff in that movie would not work if matter is made of atoms.)

Energy, at least electromagnetic energy, is contained in individual photons, so energy transfers by this means is discrete rather than continuous.

Henry

Photons, not electrons?

wellllll...

Energy is not quantized. Energy levels in bound systems are quantized. Thus atoms absorb and emit discrete amounts of energy. But free particles can have any old kinetic energy--i.e. its possible values are continuous.

Richard, OTOH, could learn to be more discreet, but that's another story.

Date: 2010/01/20 19:42:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 20 2010,19:33)
I have to give a hat-tip to HeroIsReal for some of the wacky numerology stuff.

Rich--nicely played, as they say. You rock. (And a tip o' the cap to HeroIsReal).

Date: 2010/02/15 17:01:55, Link
Author: dheddle
On the topic of entropy--a question.

Do you think only the difference in entropy has physical significance? I've been thinking a great deal about this. The conventional answer is "yes" (I once argued about this Mark Perakh on PT and he dismissed me out of hand—arrogant bastard—I don’t mind being dissed by superstar physicists but not garden-variety physicists—but I digress.)

I’m teaching thermo and have been thinking about this a great deal. Of course, all the equations involving entropy can be cast in terms of the difference in entropy—but that’s not exactly what I am asking. (For example, we can add a constant momentum to everything, and Newton’s 2nd Law still applies, but we don’t go about carefully stating that only changes in momentum are relevant.)

I’m thinking, of course, of the quantum basis for entropy—which unlike the classical basis is not mysterious at all. Every microstate (because of Heisenberg) has a finite volume in phase space, therefore we only have a finite (though typically ginormous) number of microstates for each macrostate. That is certainly a well defined absolute quantity: the number of macrostates. It is a positive definite integer. In order to free ourselves from dealing with enormous numbers—numbers with exponents in the exponents, we shrink ‘em down—and make them additive rather multiplicative by taking the log—and give that quantity the name entropy. Nothing mysterious.

The number of microstates is clearly a well defined quantity—so why not the entropy, which is just a smoothing thereof? We define absolute zero and an absolute temperature scale—as if temperature has some absolute meaning—but in fact all those formulae that demand that you insert an absolute temperature can be recast in terms of  a temperature difference. And entropy is more fundamental than temperature.

Anyway, I think the language is simply a carryover from classical thermodynamics. And I think it is wrong—I think it at least makes a certain sense to say that S=0 when the number of microstates = 1, and that this is not arbitrary in the same sense that the zero of a potential energy is arbitrary.

If Louis cares to chime in he may not use enthalpy. The friggin' chemists and their friggin' enthalpy really piss me off!

Date: 2010/02/17 10:29:07, Link
Author: dheddle
I like (yes like) this post by Paul Nelson on free will.

It seems to me impossible for there to be any non-supernatural explanation of free will--yet very few atheists simply state: there is no such thing as free will. The reluctance (by many, not all) to state the obvious, and then address the ensuing philosophical quagmire (good luck with that) is to me a bit dishonest or cowardly.

Unlike we Calvinists, who enjoy free will out the wazoo.

Date: 2010/02/17 11:12:43, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ Feb. 17 2010,10:54)
 
Quote
It seems to me impossible for there to be any non-supernatural explanation of free will--yet very few atheists simply state: there is no such thing as free will.


Is, then, an atheist, obliged to state "there is no such thing as free will"? I would have thought chaos theory and quantum mechanics have pretty much destroyed  determinism.

PS Please stop picking on ID Guy/Joseph/JoeG. Lots of us get great pleasure from his comments and wouldn't want TT or UD mods catching on in case they ban him!

But free will does not equate to a simple lack of  determinism. After all, a "random will" would not be what most people mean by free will. Besides, do you really think there is a combination of universal differential equation plus quantum fluctuations that could explain my love for all things NASCAR? I tell you sir, there is not! Oh, and OK--I'll stop interacting with ID-Guy.

Richard H,

No, no, no! I am going to have to refer you for remedial work. Please read everything ever written by Jonathan Edwards. Twice. Make that three times.

Date: 2010/02/17 11:44:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 17 2010,11:18)
Everyone knows I don't do books.

What am I getting wrong?

P1. God is timeless
P2. God could have authored any Heddle

C1. God knows what heddle will do before god creates him
C2. Heddle's "free will" is an illusion.

Hey if I log on to UD, I know that Dembski will toss me out. That doesn't mean he doesn't have free will. Just no free lunch. Or no lunch of any sort at universities run by former special prosecutors who are not on the Clintons' Christmas Card list.

Date: 2010/02/17 12:12:12, Link
Author: dheddle
OK I was just strolling through the student union and there was a group of students selling boxes of Kripsy Kremes for $5. [1, 2]

I hereby and without hesitation retract everything that I ever said about the existence of free will.

--------------------
[1] It turns out they were raising funds for the drag-queen ball. They assured me I didn't have to attend [3]--but I asked if they'd be serving more Krispy Kremes.

[2] Please don't tell Mrs. Calvinist I bought a box of donuts.

[3] OK, it was closer to: Please don't attend.

=========
EDIT: for completeness

Date: 2010/02/17 13:30:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 17 2010,13:19)
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 17 2010,11:44)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 17 2010,11:18)
Everyone knows I don't do books.

What am I getting wrong?

P1. God is timeless
P2. God could have authored any Heddle

C1. God knows what heddle will do before god creates him
C2. Heddle's "free will" is an illusion.

Hey if I log on to UD, I know that Dembski will toss me out. That doesn't mean he doesn't have free will. Just no free lunch. Or no lunch of any sort at universities run by former special prosecutors who are not on the Clintons' Christmas Card list.

You conflate confidence and knowledge, where knowledge is the intersection of fact and belief. I'm not sure any of what you wrote addresses what I wrote, I may just not 'get it' [happens a lot] but I need a bit more help, because the analogy doesn't seem to work on any level.

Sorry, I didn't realize you were serious. But I'll pass, thanks, preferring not to get into a discussion of the Calvinistic view of free will on the UD thread.

Date: 2010/02/17 14:56:04, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Tom Ames @ Feb. 17 2010,14:48)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 17 2010,08:29)
I like (yes like) this post by Paul Nelson on free will.

It seems to me impossible for there to be any non-supernatural explanation of free will--yet very few atheists simply state: there is no such thing as free will. The reluctance (by many, not all) to state the obvious, and then address the ensuing philosophical quagmire (good luck with that) is to me a bit dishonest or cowardly.

Unlike we Calvinists, who enjoy free will out the wazoo.

There is no such thing as free will.

What philosophical quagmire?

Oh, well if in the absence of free will you have all the questions regarding, say, just to pick one topic: moral culpability all figured out, then I apologize for being presumptuous in assuming such problems were at least moderately difficult.

Date: 2010/02/18 09:21:13, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 18 2010,08:59)
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Feb. 18 2010,08:41)
 
Quote (MichaelJ @ Feb. 18 2010,05:47)
To me "free will" is a meaningless concept. I think that free will as proposed by the UDiots can not be defined without God.

I have not read philosophy (translation: bullshit) on free will, but most of the intarweb arguments are looking at the matter from the wrong perspective.  It is irrelevant to me whether I have a choice in how I be me, but it matters a great deal that my choosing is not determined by what is outside.  Otherwise the word freedom has no meaning.

I'm confused. Heddle believes he has free will - the one god chose for him?

OK, Since you keep asking about my view, it is briefly sketched here.


It is based on the concept of moral inability, as opposed to coercion.

I always give the same example—not perfect but I think it works to illustrate the principle. A mother of sound mind sits at the kitchen table holding her baby. Though possessed with a free will, she is morally incapable of making the choice to place her baby in the microwave and turning it on. Her free will is not violated—yet she does not have the liberty to make that choice—because her morality will not permit her. Likewise, in this model preferred by Calvinists, though we have a libertine free will, we lack, in our fallen state, the moral ability to choose God, so we never will.

EDIT: typo

Date: 2010/02/18 09:33:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 18 2010,09:27)
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 18 2010,09:21)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 18 2010,08:59)
   
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Feb. 18 2010,08:41)
   
Quote (MichaelJ @ Feb. 18 2010,05:47)
To me "free will" is a meaningless concept. I think that free will as proposed by the UDiots can not be defined without God.

I have not read philosophy (translation: bullshit) on free will, but most of the intarweb arguments are looking at the matter from the wrong perspective.  It is irrelevant to me whether I have a choice in how I be me, but it matters a great deal that my choosing is not determined by what is outside.  Otherwise the word freedom has no meaning.

I'm confused. Heddle believes he has free will - the one god chose for him?

OK, Since you keep asking about my view, it is briefly sketched here.


It is based on the concept of moral inability, as opposed to coercion.

I always give the same example—not perfect but I think it works to illustrate the principle. A mother of sound mind sits at the kitchen table holding her baby. Though possessed with a free will, she is morally incapable of making the choice to place her baby in the microwave and turning it on. Her free will is not violated—yet she does not have the liberty to make that choice—because her morality will not permit her. Likewise, in this model preferred by Calvinists, though we have a libertine free will, we lack, in our fallen state, the moral ability to choose God, so we never will.

EDIT: typo

And God lacked the moral ability to author those who only choose not to put babys in microwaves, effectively putting the baby in the microwave?

Yes.


Quote
God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (WCF III.I)


Poor Judas. His actions were ordained--and yet he chose and must, barring some unrecorded conversion, pay. Thems the rules.

Date: 2010/02/18 10:08:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 18 2010,09:54)
The argument over free will assumes there is an agent separate from the physical body (brain/mind).

Any system, whether human or animal, mechanical or biological, whose behavioral tendencies are modified by experience could be said to have free will.

If you analyze less stupid cases than the baby in the microwave, the issues can be made clearer. Suppose the decision is whether to eat a second donut.

The decision rests on the consequences, pleasure vs weight gain. Humans seem to have the ability to observe themselves weighing the consequences, so we "feel" like we are making a decision.

But many animals can be observed weighing consequences. Cats or dogs deciding whether to approach a strange human, for example.

The weighing of consequences is a major part of what brains do. The ability to weigh consequences obviously exists on a continuum, correlated with brain size and structure.

Morality is not a special case. It merely invokes its own set of consequences, some learned through socialization and some hard wired as a result of evolution.

I suspect the hard wired part varies from individual to individual, just like other traits. We have laws because some people lack compassion and empathy. Most people would gain no pleasure from microwaving a baby, and considerable pain. For those who lack this internal compass, we have laws and all-seeing sky-daddies.

I don't understand--are you saying there is free will or not? I'm saying there is and have offered a model. It may be a crappy model, but people should say, a la Provine, that there is no free will, or they should say there is, and offer a model for how it operates. If they are pure naturalists, their model, obviously, must have only natural causes.

I don't think your example was "less stupid" than the baby in the microwave, which was to demonstrate moral inability not free will (perhaps I wasn't clear) and I don't think your example of the donut makes anything clearer.

Date: 2010/02/18 10:13:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (keiths @ Feb. 18 2010,10:03)
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 18 2010,07:33)
Poor Judas. His actions were ordained--and yet he chose and must, barring some unrecorded conversion, pay. Thems the rules.

Interesting.  That makes you a compatibilist.

I guess so. I do think your will is free but determined. But the point is that it is not determined by God the puuppet master, or a cosmic differential equation with or without quantum fluctuations--it is self-determined. It is free only in the sense there is no external agent causing me to type this post. Instead, all things considered, there is nothing I want to do more at this instant than type this post, so I type this post.

Date: 2010/02/18 10:53:34, Link
Author: dheddle
Happy birthday Mr. O'H.

Date: 2010/02/18 12:29:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 18 2010,11:38)
"It seems to me impossible for there to be any non-supernatural explanation of free will" - dheddle, upthread somewhere

I have looked at this and thought about it, but I still don't have a clue why anyone would say this. I do understand that a definition of "free will" would be useful in proceeding, but I do think that the definition will include a deity, and so you just smuggle in that conclusion with the definition.

Can you elaborate, Dave? It seems to me that free will is simply a behavior, and behaviors can be explained by natural mechanisms. So even if we don't have an explanation for this particular behavior yet, why is it special?

The definition I am using is: the ability to make a choice that was not predetermined, coerced by an external agent, or random. If that's an acceptable definition, then either it does not exist (a la Provine) or the supernatural (some sort of dualism) is required. That's my claim.

If the natural world is all there is, then what causes a given choice? It can only be the laws of physics. My next action, which is to pause and think about what I'll write next, is just the inevitable outcome of a differential equation being integrated in real time. Perhaps with some quantum indeterminacy tossed in.

There is no sense in which that was free choice. It was either predetermined by the initial conditions of the universe, or it was random.

And in such a situation, how does one assign moral culpability?

This is not solely a question of strict determinism, which we agree is dead. You just cant say that Heisenberg saves the free will, because I can't control those quantum fluctuations--even if you believe they are coherent enough to affect a decision, which I don't.

Date: 2010/02/18 13:37:15, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Badger3k @ Feb. 18 2010,13:26)
Quote (Mark Frank @ Feb. 18 2010,13:20)
If you haven't done it already read Daniel Dennett on free will - particularly Freedom Evolves. He is a compatabilist and I think he is pretty much right.  We choose according to our desires which is quite compatible with our desires causing our choices.

But who chooses our desires?  

I do have Dennett on my list to read, but after trying to slog through Consciousness (Understood? - I forget) - it was way beyond my present understanding, and I kept getting caught by 'qualia' and the like.  Still have it, and mean to go back once I can follow the evidence and arguments better.

My problem is that every definition of Free Will that I have heard tends to be inadequate in one way or another, and the usefulness of the term is debatable for me.  I don't think we have what most people think of as free will, but I do agree that we have apparent free will, and (have to?) act as if we did.  I'm not sure it matters, although the debates can be fun.

That's exactly where the supernatural diverges. The desires are, if you will, part of your "soul." They can be modified via non-natural means (in theory) such as divine intervention or answered prayer or what have you.

Without that, you desires are just chemical reactions, and we are back to the differential equation.

Date: 2010/02/18 14:07:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 18 2010,13:24)
Quote
If the natural world is all there is, then what causes a given choice? It can only be the laws of physics.


I will repeat myself, moving one step closer to my own definition of insanity.

Choices are probabilistic. Makes no difference if they are quantum events or merely analog computations resulting from neuronal firing rates.

There is no reason to posit a ghost in the machine. The machine itself weighs the consequences of decisions.

What makes "will" so fascinating is that behavior is based on a prediction of the future, something that can be known only probabilistically.

Again, it isn't necessary to posit a ghost making the prediction. The prediction is embodied in the state of the predictor. Animals anticipate consequences, not as effectively as humans, but they nevertheless anticipate.

Then they are random. I have a certain probability to make a choice. Something beyond my control rolls the dice. I obey the results. Nothing there that resembles the usual notion of free will.

Date: 2010/02/18 14:11:54, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Joy @ Feb. 18 2010,13:53)
Mark Frank:
 
Quote
He is a compatabilist and I think he is pretty much right.  We choose according to our desires which is quite compatible with our desires causing our choices.


I'll have to look up compatablism to get a feel for it. But I'm not the least bit convinced we choose according to our desires, since too many of us choose undesirable options in our lives.

For example, say your teenage daughter is pregnant, it's late for abortion by the time she decides you need to know. Boyfriend's long gone. There's a number of options for you, some relatively worse (or just meaner) than others based on the situation and your adopted 'morality' and ethics and relationship with said daughter.

After careful consideration, you offer to raise the child (and continue to support daughter) even though you thought you were done raising kids, you absolutely don't want more (and got that fixed long ago to make sure), you'll be retirement age when the kid gets out of school (meaning your savings for retirement will be nil by the time he's on his own).

The choice isn't one you wanted to make. Nothing you decide will be particularly desirable. There are other options that would allow you to continue living your life as you'd planned to live it - desired to. You'll be giving up hopes and dreams (a lot of self-interest) that you'll ever have any extra cash to do anything for yourself. And maybe you don't even particularly like kids.

But you make your choice, offer it as an option for someone else's choice (daughter) and then you have to live with it despite whatever it costs you on the self-interest and desires end.

Now, it could turn out that the child is the light of your life, and ends up rich and famous and takes great care of you in your old age. Or he could grow up to be a loser and you'll never be free of either him or his mom due to setting up a dependency cycle they won't or can't escape. However it turns out, how is that choice not 'free' even though it did require consideration of multiple factors and future considerations?

It is exactly the choice you want to make most, all things considered. Simplify it down to two choices.

A) You can choice to raise the child, with all the attendant responsibilities and problems but with the prospect of a brighter future for the child, or

B) You can choose not to, have lots more money and freedom, but possibly a great deal of remorse and guilt.

If you chose A it is because, all things considered, you want A more than B. At least at that moment.

Date: 2010/02/18 14:17:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 18 2010,13:54)
So free will = "the ability to make a choice that was not predetermined, coerced by an external agent, or random"

"Pre-determined" simply smuggles in the supernatural as part of the definition, I'd say.

Ditto for "coerced by an external agent".

For actions like choosing to move a highlighter across a table, there is no way that I can imagine that an external agent or predetermination would be able to cause that without supernatural abilities.

So two of the three options condense into one, and we have a typical dichotomy - deity or random.

A false dichotomy, per usual.

Exactly how does "not predetermined" or "not coerced" smuggle in a deity? And why do you need the snarky "false dichotomy, per usual?"

To me, "not predetermined" and "not coerced" are generic features of free-will. I'm assuming instead of just charging "false dichotomy!" you'll provide an alternative definition free will and its mechanism? I'm willing to listen. Or did I miss it?

Date: 2010/02/18 14:21:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ Feb. 18 2010,14:14)
Quote
It is exactly the choice you want to make most, all things considered. Simplify it down to two choices.


So free will is real?

Who disagrees?

Well, Cornell biologist William Provine for one. Any many others.

But if you don't believe in the supernatural, then you just can't say "free will exists". You have to postulate how it works, and (I think) why people should be morally culpable for their choices.

Provine, in my opinion is simply being honest.

Date: 2010/02/18 15:07:13, Link
Author: dheddle
From Dr. Provine

Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.

Free Will

The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will.

Without free will, moral responsibility seems impossible. But I will argue that moral responsibility is actually based upon the lack of free will.

Free will is a disastrous and mean social myth. Using free will as an excuse, we condone a vicious attitude of revenge toward anyone who does wrong in our society. Most of the movies in a video store are based upon getting even with some nasty person. This attitude leads to a gross ly expensive and hopeless systems of punishment in America , though much the same attitude can be found in most countries around the world.

Without free will, justification for revenge disappears and rehabilitation is the main job of judicial systems and prisons. We will all live in a better society when the myth of free will is dispelled.

Devout Christians also believe in forgiveness and rehabilitation. Agreement here is possible between atheism and religion.

Meaning in Life

How can we have meaning in life? When we die we are really dead; nothing of us survives. Natural selection is a process leading every species almost certainly to extinction and "cares" as much for the HIV virus as for humans. Nothing could be more uncaring than the entire process of organic evolution. Life has been on earth for about 3.6 billion years. In less that one billion more years our sun will turn into a red giant. All life on earth will be burnt to a crisp. Other cosmic processes absolutely guarantee the extinction of all life anywhere in the universe. When all life is extinguished, no memory whatsoever will be left that life ever existed.

Yet our lives are filled with meaning. Proximate meaning is more important than ultimate. Even if we die, we can have deeply meaningful lives.

Meaning in life is shared. We cannot have even proximate meaning except in the context of culture. This is true for religious people as for agnostics or atheists. No group can cut out the others.

Evolution in the classroom

Evolution is of interest to all. 50% of Americans believe humans were created by God in the last 10,000 years. Most other Americans who do believe in evolution think that God guided it. But a small group of powerful naturalist evolutionists have taken control of our schools. They want to stifle discussion of evolution in the classroom by everyone according to his or her beliefs Discussion may then change minds. Evolutionists are their own worst enemies by preventing free discussion of all views in the biology classroom.

Date: 2010/02/18 16:04:06, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Feb. 18 2010,15:51)
Excuse me for belaboring my quantum quackery but I suggest if there is such a thing as "free will" it is non-deterministic and non-random.

After all the fancy semantic exercises are finished, unless there is an appeal to the supernatural, quantum uncertainty and/or some true random source the bottom line is “free will” is a complicated algorithmic system that gives an appearance of free will, similar to an AI using a random number generator for an illusion of unpredictability.

My bias is towards a presumption Free Will is based on macro expressions of quantum effects.  Even if God is behind it all, he/she/it would have complete control through the manipulation of Quantum Mechanics.  I will leave it to the theologians to explain how and why an omniscient, omnipotent God granted man the ability to act outside his/her/its direct control.

While I suspect most people wouldn’t consider a random source the key to Free Will, it could give that appearance.  Most things could be logical and deterministic but every now and then a random neuron fires and the next thing you know we move a highlighter or make veggie lasagna.

But back to one of Alan’s main questions, yes, I believe this is a main issue in the ID/evolution debate.  People want to believe they are special.  They want to believe they have Free Will.  They will use that Free Will to reject uncomfortable evidence and readily accept an alternative that is consistent with feeling special.

I don't see what free will has to do with the ID debate--except that it exposes their lie that ID has nothing to do with religion. That is, as theists they tend to line up on the "real free will" as opposed to "apparent free will" side.

After all, a designer-who-could-be-anybody-no-really-he-doesn't-have-to-be-god-I'm-not-kidding-trust-me could design us as automatons, could he not? So why should, in theory, the free will question have anything to do with ID?

Date: 2010/03/16 16:10:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Amadan @ Mar. 16 2010,13:56)
TP, you are mistaken!

Allow me to quote from Dembski's testimony at Dover:

     
Quote










                                                                                                  .





















                                                                                         .


(Sung to the tune of 4:33 by John Cage)

No, not sung to the tune you mentioned. Sung to the tune of Sir Robin!

Brave Doctor D ran away - No!
Bravely ran away, away - I didn't!
Dep'sition reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled - No!
Yes, brave Doctor D turned about
And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Doctor D!

Date: 2010/04/15 11:12:29, Link
Author: dheddle
I am pleased to present for your consideration this little tidbit:

DaveScot, aka Dave Springer, was expelled from the same secret ID listserv (whose name shall not be mentioned) from which I was expelled. Expelled by the same multiple Phd'ed moderator. For similar high crimes and misdemeanors.

Nobody expects the inquisition.

Date: 2010/04/15 11:25:10, Link
Author: dheddle
It happened about six weeks ago. According to my source. Who, having never claimed that he would only use public financing for his campaign before raising a gazillion private dollars, is unimpeachable.

Oh, and F1 still sucks.

Date: 2010/05/03 14:46:24, Link
Author: dheddle
I had given up on UD. I hardly ever visit. I just happened to take a break from grading to peek in, only to see the news about their new journal. There is joy in Mudville!

If anyone is interested, I wrote a short post to commemorate.

P.S. Rich Hughes: F1 still sucks. The recent NASCAR race at Talladega had 88 lead changes. 88! That is probably more than in all F1 races in history, combined--because those gender-challenged euro drivers are afraid to pass--it probably violates some EU regulation guaranteeing the dignity of race car drivers.

EDIT: typo

Date: 2010/05/04 06:41:36, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (sparc @ May 04 2010,01:25)
 
Quote (dheddle @ May 03 2010,14:46)
I had given up on UD. I hardly ever visit. I just happened to take a break from grading to peek in, only to see the news about their new journal. There is joy in Mudville!

If anyone is interested, I wrote a short post to commemorate.

P.S. Rich Hughes: F1 still sucks. The recent NASCAR race at Talladega had 88 lead changes. 88! That is probably more than in all F1 races in history, combined--because those gender-challenged euro drivers are afraid to pass--it probably violates some EU regulation guaranteeing the dignity of race car drivers.

EDIT: typo

It is a well known fact in Europe that NASCAR supporters have gun toting  Palin pin ups above their beds.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Date: 2010/05/05 12:29:36, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 05 2010,06:31)
CeilingCat:

       
Quote

[A] is not right.  1.148E602 is 4E1000.  That's the total number of combinations you can make with 1000 base-pairs, each of which can be one of four different values.  Let's call that a Dembski, defined as "An immense number that doesn't mean squat, but the enumerator is too Uncommonly Dense to realize it."


You are overloading the term.

Error in Dembskis

       
Quote

Error in dembskis

That error might be measured in a unit called "dembskis" that scaled things in terms of orders of magnitude came up in discussion of errors in an essay by Marks and Dembski. The reference unit of error for the measure is taken from the case mentioned above in the M/N ratio calculation note, where Dembski had an error of about 65 orders of magnitude. "Dave W." formalized the notion with an equation, and W. Kevin Vicklund suggested using a rounded-off value of 150 as the constant in the denominator, based upon Dembski's figure of 10^150 as a universal small probability. Thus, the final form of quantifying error in dembskis (Reed Cartwright proposed the symbol ?) is

? = | ln(erroneous measure) - ln(correct measure) | / 150

There is not yet a consensus on what to term the unit, but two proposals being considered are "Dmb" and "duns".

Hmm. I know of an error where this might be a useful measure. I once worked for a company engaged in "Star Wars" research. The first day they handed me a FORTRAN program that was calculating the the diameter of a mirror for a space-based weapon. I don't remember what it was for--but something useful like frying France the next time they denied us their airspace. Anyway, the program was coming up with answers the size of the known universe. I immediately noted the first few lines of the code--I can't recall the proper syntax, but it was something like:
Code Sample

        PARAMETER PLANCK = 6.626E34

        GOTO 3825
3825 GOTO 24243

A 68 order of magnitude error! (New employee ethical dilemma--laugh derisively, or play it cool and milk it for three or four weeks?)

Anyway, according to your equation the error was:

| ln(6.626E34) - ln(6.626E-34) | / 150 = 1.044

Is a value ? = 1.044 impressive?

Date: 2010/05/05 17:01:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Fuller:

Quote
Michael Ruse has now entered the fray, producing one of the most bigoted anti-ID statements I’ve seen in a long time.


Not even close! That was almost a puff piece compared to some. I think Ruse was tougher on Catholics than IDers. They don't take kindly to the Salvation-by-works charge.

Date: 2010/07/15 15:57:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ July 15 2010,15:44)
DI will be giving away an iPod to one of the people who sign on to their mailing list.  We should all participate.  With the total number of their email subscribers approaching 10, the odds are good.  

Don't be too creative with your name.  They are supposed to announce the winner.

So "Galapagos Finch" is probably out of the question?

Date: 2010/07/15 16:43:38, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ July 15 2010,16:35)
Quote (dheddle @ July 15 2010,15:57)
Quote (olegt @ July 15 2010,15:44)
DI will be giving away an iPod to one of the people who sign on to their mailing list.  We should all participate.  With the total number of their email subscribers approaching 10, the odds are good.  

Don't be too creative with your name.  They are supposed to announce the winner.

So "Galapagos Finch" is probably out of the question?

Don't even think about that, Heddle.  He's mine.

I'm going to use a french sounding name: Âne Vert. Or maybe Fesses Vertes.

Date: 2010/07/15 20:47:03, Link
Author: dheddle
I have never had sockpuppet on UD or anywhere else. But if I did, it'd be Mr. French.



Mr. French is cool.

Date: 2010/07/16 06:41:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Kattarina98 @ July 16 2010,05:30)
David Tyler offers yet another proof
http://tinyurl.com/2v3dppv
for ID: Spider silk comes with a "well designed adhesive"
Distractedly, he omits what the scientists said about their discovery:
     
Quote
The secret of a brilliant evolutionary development , spider web glue, has been discovered by University of Akron researchers.

my bolding
http://www.physorg.com/news193343833.html

And now, could somebody please stop me frothing?

To be honest, I don't see why your are upset. Any mention of evolution does appear to be gratuitous. The original source did not present a evolutionary pathway. It is not unfair to say their paper has nothing to do with evolution.

Not that it matters much, but what you quoted probably came from an editor. The other mention of evolution:

Quote
Existence of similar adhesion strategies in distantly related species of animals suggests a common design principle in the evolution of natural adhesives,” Blackledge says.


is just as much prima facie support for ID, since they would argue that the designer reuses design patterns.

Unless I missed something it is hard to find fault in the IDers citing this particular paper.  (Qualifier: The accompanying youtube didn't play--so my comments don't reflect whatever is in the video.)

Date: 2010/07/16 10:46:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Kattarina98 @ July 16 2010,10:24)
 
Quote (dheddle @ July 16 2010,06:41)
To be honest, I don't see why your are upset. Any mention of evolution does appear to be gratuitous. The original source did not present a evolutionary pathway. It is not unfair to say their paper has nothing to do with evolution.

Not that it matters much, but what you quoted probably came from an editor. The other mention of evolution:

     
Quote
Existence of similar adhesion strategies in distantly related species of animals suggests a common design principle in the evolution of natural adhesives,” Blackledge says.


is just as much prima facie support for ID, since they would argue that the designer reuses design patterns.

Unless I missed something it is hard to find fault in the IDers citing this particular paper.  (Qualifier: The accompanying youtube didn't play--so my comments don't reflect whatever is in the video.)

Hi, thanks for getting back to me.
I agree with your analysis of the sentence you quoted; it could be used to support ID, and the research does not deal with evolution at all.
In fact, the authors of the research use the word scarcely, so for instance    
Quote
Nature has evolved a myriad of well-designed adhesives that assist in locomotion, self-defence and prey capture.

http://tinyurl.com/37gwu55
However, it does not pass unnoticed: IDiots dismiss it with
   
Quote
Whilst this research is a splendid example of empirical science in action (understanding how the natural world operates), the issue of origins is raised in this paper. An evolutionary framework is adopted, not because the research is dependent on that framework, but because papers that refer to design (especially "well-designed" features) apparently need to affirm non-intelligent causation.

http://tinyurl.com/2wjz9lt
So they operate with double standards: When those scientists talk about evolution, they don't mean it, it's just to appease Darwinist watchdogs. OTOH, when they say "well-designed", it's about Teh Design ™.

So, maybe I went over the top with my enraged comment. Now, I am just sad that an amazing and promising discovery is being used to make a point for ID.

Sorry if I was incoherent, I am sitting in a puddle of sweat with a rooom temperature of 37 centigrades, outside it's 39.

No problem. In this case I would suggest the criticism of the IDers is in the form of damning with faint praise: They are on their best behavior: they took an agnostic paper and claimed it as support.

Date: 2010/07/19 10:35:12, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 19 2010,09:01)
Vox decides to pit science against religion:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/07/science-vs-religion.html

 
Quote
PTQ claimed that science has a vast track record of correct predictions while religion has none. "Science has produced zillions of correct predictions. Religion has produced none. A bigger winner-loser gulf does not exist." Very well, then let's place a bet on the matter:

Religion: The poor will be with you always.
Science: Global poverty will be ended by 2025.

From The End of Poverty by economist Jeffrey Sachs: "This book declares, at the core, that steadfast, science-based approaches can end extreme poverty on the planet. The benefits of modern science and technology which have reached Bulgaria and most of the rest of the world can work for the poorest of the poor as well.... the great challenge and possibility of our time: to end extreme poverty on the planet by the year 2025."

...


So my socks had some fun.

First - its a horrible strawman. Jeffrey Sachs is not the spokesman for 'science' nor is ".... the great challenge and possibility of our time: to end extreme poverty on the planet by the year 2025" a prediction, more like a call to arms.

The quote "The poor will be with you always." is from Mark 14. But Mark 16 has BETTER predictions:

 
Quote
15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."


Funny how he didn't choose these ones.

Of course all the comments my sock made pointing this out to him were deleted, because the intellectual midget can have reality raining on his TARDrade.

Now Richard, to be fair you should pick something else. That passage, know as the Markan Appendix is not in many of the oldest extant manuscripts. Most view it as an addition--and most bible translations will indicate that Mark 16:8 is probably the last verse in the chapter.

For example, the NIV inserts this comment after verse 9:

The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20

Date: 2010/07/19 10:54:52, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 19 2010,10:42)
Fascinating link, David. How does in-errancy square with these obvious doubts over provenance?

It's tricky. Technically the definition from Wiki:
 
Quote
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal  position that the Bible is considered accurate and totally free of error.

Is not correct. Inerrancy claims that scripture is innerant. It doesn't claim the ability to determine what is scripture. It doesn't rule out that, say, Revelation is only included in the bible by mistake. The reliability of the canon is an entirely separate issue. (So Rich it is not innerancy by committee--it is "what is scripture" by committee.)

Date: 2010/07/19 11:04:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 19 2010,11:00)
And everything I say is true apart from the lies...

From a practical standpoint, 'usability' if you will, it renders the bible errant.

Don't make me refudiate you!

Date: 2010/07/19 12:07:03, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (k.e.. @ July 19 2010,11:57)
 
Quote (dheddle @ July 19 2010,19:04)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 19 2010,11:00)
And everything I say is true apart from the lies...

From a practical standpoint, 'usability' if you will, it renders the bible errant.

Don't make me refudiate you!

talking snakes again Heddle?

Actually k.e. there is no indication he spoke after he became a snake in Gen 3:14. Before that he might have looked like anything--for example like Joe Torre, but with big bosoms. Who knows these imponderables?

Date: 2010/09/09 07:23:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 09 2010,06:53)
The Designer Universe

Can't wait until Sal hears about this!

That article sho' is sciency. I like the certainty with which it declares:

Despite the colossal amount of energy contained in every atom of matter, it is precisely balanced by the negativity of gravity.

I am the only one who is perpetually annoyed by gravity's incessant negativity? Anyhow, that was some impressive cosmological survey (that I must have missed reading about) that concluded the total energy of the universe is precisely zero.

Date: 2010/09/16 13:17:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 16 2010,12:48)
 
Quote
Kairosfocus uses typing text often as an an example for CSI.
But as I said, it makes no sense either way.


It's UD- It doesn't have to make any sense, and if you are sense-free, you're a star, and have posting privlages.

Our Darwin-cam took this picture of stephenb, cairofocus and BA^77 at a recent UD symposium:



Blasphemy!

The stooges were comic geniuses! Please don't insult them. To make your point you should probably pick three people the French like†--like Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rourke, and... well a third person they like.

---------
†We apologize for the gratuitous insult aimed at the French. It was done merely for filler--this post would have been too small otherwise. The person making this tasteless joke has been sacked.

Date: 2010/09/16 17:07:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 16 2010,16:42)
User's guide to Design Arguments:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-cont....nts.pdf

Arggh.

Why doesn't anyone listen to me when I get on my soapbox and shout: the fine-tuning argument is strongest when the probability of the constants is high (especially unity) not when low. Low probability is what the multiverse predicts. How can that be good for the fine tuning argument?

Also--another unfair bias will show here--I have long proposed a Bayes's Theorem theorem--which is that with sufficiently inscrutable assumptions anything can be demonstrated with Bayes's theorem.

Like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it should be illegal for theologians, philosophers, and F1 drivers to invoke Bayes's Theorem.

And it should be Bayes's, not Bayes'. It's Gauss's Law, not Gauss'. Oh, and another thing...

Date: 2010/09/16 17:13:08, Link
Author: dheddle
Some REAL science news.

Date: 2010/09/16 19:02:09, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Rob R. @ Sep. 16 2010,17:56)
Quote (dheddle @ Sep. 16 2010,17:13)
Some REAL science news.

Your brother?

No--I don't know him. I started getting email intended for him.

Date: 2011/01/24 19:02:51, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (the_ignored @ Jan. 24 2011,13:53)
This is great:  On that post about abortion and PZ Myers it seems that "Spacebunny" has decided that her hubby needs help.

Little twit just doesn't know when to leave well enough alone.  Though the same could be said of me.  :p

I haven't been traveling in the usual jaunts--that's the first I read of PZ's comments about meat. And probably the first time I ever thought: PZ is really stupid. I always thought he was self-absorbed--and everything had to be about him or he lost his patience--but still I had some begrudging respect for him. But that meat comment was dumb. It would be hard to imagine any other marquee atheist attempting—so blatantly—to draw attention to himself. See, I’m the PZ. I can always ratchet up my outrageousness just so people will talk about me.

I don’t think I ever agreed with this Vox Day creature before—but he was spot on when he wrote

   
Quote
The awful thing is not that the pictures do not frighten him; they do not frighten me either. The awful thing is that he does not find them revolting like any normal human being with even a minimal amount of empathy would.


This was PZ, already the Tom Green of atheism, jumping the shark.

Date: 2011/01/24 19:49:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (khan @ Jan. 24 2011,19:36)
Should have known fetus fetishist heddle would show up

And why should you "know" that? My views on abortion are mostly private. I almost never comment on abortion threads. I bet you could go through the abortion threads on AtBC and not find comments from me.

Can you provide any evidence that I am a "fetus fetishist?" (I'll answer for you: no you can't; you're making shit up.)

The point of commenting here is that I would like to think that even if I were pro-choice I would readily admit that PZ's comments were repulsive.

Date: 2011/01/24 21:16:24, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Texas Teach @ Jan. 24 2011,21:09)
   
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 24 2011,20:31)
pearl clutching FTW.  for fucks sake have these dooshes never used the interwebz

Notice also how heddle has, in complaining about PZ trying to make it all about himself, set in motion making it all about heddle?

Yes I did notice that. Because it is well known that posting a comment about someone making all about himself is to make it all about one's self. Still, I was hoping that would slip through--but no fooling you! I'm so busted.

And I'm dheddle, dammit.

Date: 2011/01/25 03:11:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wolfhound @ Jan. 24 2011,21:43)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 24 2011,20:49)
The point of commenting here is that I would like to think that even if I were pro-choice I would readily admit that PZ's comments were repulsive.

But, you clearly AREN'T pro-choice so projecting your own squik threshold on those who don't share your particular bias is rather pointless.

I happen to agree with PZ and you and other religiously motivated knicker twisters can get the vapours all you want. Just stay the fuck off of my fainting couch, you wankers.

You agree with him that pictures of mangled aborted fetuses inspire  no thoughts other than "it's just meat?".

For crying out loud, when I see a dead unborn bird (the egg fell) it makes me feel sad.  And that has nothing to do with religion.

Not you. Regardless of your stand on abortion, you can truly look at aborted fetuses with no metaphysical connection, even if only to the potential human whose parts are clearly recognizable, lying in a bloody heap? Even without ascribing any moral culpability to anyone, or even acknowledging that that there is any moral issue, even if the abortion was most straightforward inarguable case, (say, saving the life of a woman who was incestuously gang-raped) even then it would be the equivalent of looking at meat?  

Then, like PZ, you are also a cold-hearted scumbag with no empathy.

But none of that was my point, which was the speculation none of the other big-name atheists would be stupid enough to write what PZ wrote. They make names for themselves by their writing with style and class. PZ by does it by shocking.

Of course you didn't grasp what I was saying. All you did was the reflexive: religious person speaking--must disagree. Everything is good-guy/bad-guy.

So you know what? You can bite me, jackass.

Date: 2011/01/25 03:58:14, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (OgreMkV @ Jan. 19 2011,13:16)
Hey IBIG,

answer this for me:

If God commanded people to start eating babies, what would you do?

There are three possible answers:

1) "No, it would still be immoral." That one's easy, and the best answer, and of course it demolishes the idea that God dictates what is moral.

2) "God would never do that, because God is moral." In order for this statement to have any meaning, morality must exist independent of God -- otherwise we could not decide whether God would do a particular thing based on whether or not that thing was moral, because that would be synonymous to asking ourselves whether God would do a particular thing based on whether God would do a particular thing.

3) "Knives out and start the rotesserie!" This, and only this, preserves the idea that morality comes from God, and only from God.

No, there is a fourth:

4. It is a ridiculous question because it requires a violation of the law of noncontraction, a law which, it is assumed, even applies to god. Put simply: if god is moral and the very north pole of moral compasses, and if eating babies is immoral in a certain context, then god would be literally incapable of commanding the eating of babies in that context.

Date: 2011/01/25 04:07:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 23 2011,11:10)
Noesis calls Dembski on the carpet:
   
Quote
You define the active information of an algorithm in terms of its performance. Then you say that an algorithm performs well because it has active information, when it actually has active information because it performs well.

It seems to me that you’re caught up it circular reasoning. What have I missed?


DrDr replies:
   
Quote
There’s no circularity here, but there are two senses of active information at play. Think of kinetic energy — there’s the measurement of kinetic energy of a system, which can be defined operationally, and then there’s the underlying entity — the actual kinetic energy of the system. Active information is, in the first instance, defined relationally: there’s an inherent difficulty of a problem as gauged by blind search; there’s the reduced difficulty of a problem as gauged by an alternate search. This reduction in difficulty or improvement in search capacity is measurable and, indeed, is measured by active information. But then the question arises, what enabled the second search (the alternate search) to perform better than the first search (the blind search). Here we posit that the second search had an infusion of active information, now treated as a hypothesized entity. This is in keeping with standard scientific practice of treating measurements as reflecting underlying entities.


This is silly. In physics, kinetic energy K is useful not because it reflects some other "underlying entity — the actual kinetic energy of the system" (what the heck is that?). The work-energy theorem states that a change in K equals work W of a force acting on the object. It is crucial that W can be computed independently of K as the integral of the force over distance traveled. That makes the work-energy theorem a nontrivial statement.

There is nothing of the sort in the latest shenanigans of Dembski and Marks. They have no way of quantifying "active information" other than the difference between the performances of a blind search and a search in question. Unlike conservation of energy, their "conservation law" is a mere tautology.

Spot on. What lunacy regarding kinetic energy.

There is something I have missed being out of this arena for a while--has Dembski come out of the closet as a YEC?

Date: 2011/01/25 05:06:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Jan. 25 2011,04:17)
 
Quote
4. It is a ridiculous question because it requires a violation of the law of noncontraction, a law which, it is assumed, even applies to god. Put simply: if god is moral and the very north pole of moral compasses, and if eating babies is immoral in a certain context, then god would be literally incapable of commanding the eating of babies in that context.


That is total male bovine feces! You are "assuming" the law of noncontraction (noncontradiction, maybe?) even applies to god. Who the fuck are you to know that? Seriously? Isn't your god all powerful? Why then should he be subjected to any law?

And what the hell do you mean by "and if eating babies is immoral in a certain context"?!? In what context would it ever be moral to kill and eat babies?

And to finish, god would be incapable of doing something? the all-powerful, omnipotent god of the bible?!?

Get your shit together, dheddle. That's pure, unadulterated inconsistancy...

ETA: and basicaly the same as answer n°2, only poorly formulated...

Most Christians assume god is subject to the law of noncontradiction. The most common formulation is: God cannot lie. Not: god chooses not to lie, but god cannot lie, for lying would make him A and not-A at the same time and in the same circumstances.

And it is not the same as #2, which carried as a consequence that morality exists independent of god. (Which may be true--all I'm saying is there is [at least] a 4th answer.) The answer I gave does not demand that there is morality independent of god. It is aligned with [P1] god defines morality,  [P2] eating babies is immoral, [P3] god never acts immorally [C] god cannot (not just will not) command the eating of dead babies.

As for a context when baby eating is acceptable--I can't think of one--I just wrote as narrowly as I could.

But that's not the point anyway. The point is I offered a fourth answer which, contrary to your claim, is not at all the same as #2.

Again, it is rather obvious that god is subject to the laws of logic--unless you really think the old "can god make a stone he cannot lift?" is truly a insoluble conundrum for theists. I mean, after all, is he omnipotent or not?

Date: 2011/01/25 05:22:29, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Jan. 25 2011,04:09)
dheddle, I'd rather argue that you are a bit over-sensitive.

Yes, a fœtus is a potential human being. So is an ovum or a spermatozoid.

Sorry, but I don't feel sad every time I throw away the equivalent of the population of Netherlands after a good wanking. Also, I don't see my girlfriend as a mass murdering cannibal.

I hope you don't cry every month when your partner gets her period.

Until a baby is born and starts getting functional cognitive developpment, it is not, per say, a human being. A potential one, yes, but just as an ovum or a spermatozoid.

Which doesn't mean I, or ayone else here, don't understand your point of view, but please don't judge the morality of others based solely on your own feelings. Would you say a mortician or a forensic doctor are heartless because they do their job without feeling sad for the person they're working on?

Are you that clinical about it? Because, let's grant for the sake of argument, that a sperm and a fetus are both merely potential humans --you have exactly the same [emotionless] response?

I certainly don't. If I see a fetus in a bloody mess with recognizable body parts, I have a different emotional response than if I think of sperm being flushed down the toilet. And I was the same way before I was a Christian. One is much sadder/harder to look at/more poignant--I don't exactly how to describe it--but certainly evokes a different, stronger, more unpleasant emotion.

I'm actually surprised to realize that may not be a universal trait. So maybe PZ is rather commonplace in this regard. If so, my bad.

Date: 2011/01/25 05:32:47, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (the_ignored @ Jan. 25 2011,04:13)
 
Quote
dheddle
Then, like PZ, you are also a cold-hearted scumbag with no empathy.


If that was the case, then he would not give a rat's ass about all the child sexual abuse cases the catholic church is responsible for.  Those victims you see, were unambigiously human, already having developed enough to be born and live.

With a few week old fetus, which doesn't even have a nervous system that can feel pain, or have any kind of consciousness, it's not quite so clear.

Some people regard it as "fully human" (the faux pro-lifers of religious bent) and some atheist pro-lifers like myself, even if they're not fully developed yet.

Think of it this way:  Do you have the same feelings when you open up an egg to cook it as when you see that unborn bird fall?

You are missing the boat. I am not arguing about the pain the fetus may or may not feel. I am arguing from (it would appear, a false assumption) that no normal person, independent of their religious views, could examine pictures of aborted fetuses and not experience some kind of emotional response beyond "it is just meat."

As for the egg vice the recognizable unborn bird drying out in my driveway whose egg feel from the tree, I do not think of them the same way. That's the point. Do you think of them the same way?  Does the latter not generate a response different from the former?

Date: 2011/01/25 05:38:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (carlsonjok @ Jan. 25 2011,05:31)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,04:07)
There is something I have missed being out of this arena for a while--has Dembski come out of the closet as a YEC?

Welcome back. I was starting to wonder about you. Your blog is getting dusty.  

Here is the Panda's Thumb coverage.  And a nice article at LGF.

Thanks for the links.

I don't know if I will blog again. I ran out of things to say. I need a muse. But with the Steelers in the superbowl and two weeks later the Daytona 500--well clearly there is a god who wants me out of my funk. (Who, I might add, creates this perfect storm of sports Nirvana with impressive regularity!)

Date: 2011/01/25 06:04:49, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,05:50)
for shits sake a pile of hotdogs and fava beans is also a potential human being.  but i bet you don't get all weepy eyed when your freezer takes a crap.

"rate my emotional response" is tres passe

pharyngula is a fanboi cesspool.  and if the SHTF PZ will be eaten first.  look at him, he's a doughy wanker.  and he probably doesn't know a banjo from a double headed dildo

other than that, who cares?  there is nothing rational about this meat faggery.  and no fucko that doesn't make anyone a monster just because they don't share your hallmark sentiments.  

nearly everyone has some sort of emotions, most people can't [or don't give a fuck about it enough to] share them as a universal common denominator.  it's not like you can yank that shit out and look at it in the light, so who cares?  only people who want to be reeeeeeeeal concerned.  dheddle that's what you are doing aint it?  sure as hell is what everyone else crying about PZ is doing.

Maybe that's what I'm doing. But I prefer to think that I am lashing out at a stupid comment. Isn't that the lingua franca of AtBC?

Are you sure about that "nobody cares about emotions" argument? Are you sure I couldn't search the archives of AtBC and find comments about the emotions--comments on someone getting "weepy", etc.--of the UD commenters?

And of course the gist of my original comment on PZ was that his meat comment made me think of him as stupid. In a way that someone who is impolitic sometimes appears to be stupid--when it is gratuitous.

Date: 2011/01/25 10:22:26, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wolfhound @ Jan. 25 2011,09:22)
   
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 25 2011,10:11)
     
Quote (Wolfhound @ Jan. 25 2011,14:58)
     
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 25 2011,09:18)
<shrugs> What I said is true....unless you're subhuman.

Annnnnnnd she drops her kissy-poo, sweetness n' light, "can't we all just along" pretense and returns to her roots by pulling the (reverse) Nazi card.

See, to me and prolly most of the folks here at AtBC, you and Heddle are merely religiously deluded morons for a variety of reasons that have little if anything to do with your stance and/or feelings regarding abortion.  Both of you, however, classify anybody who doesn't have your opinion/response to abortion as less than human.

I find this very telling.

I don't put Heddle and FTK in the same box....as far as I put anyone in boxes at all.

Heddle is more than capable of reasoned and reasonable discourse about anything that does not impinge on his religion (which is of course NASCAR) and is probably worth Having a Beer With, no matter how much we disagree about some important things. Hell, if nothing else, at least he could teach me some physics. (Although I will say his current foray into demonising anyone who doesn't elevate his (or their own) visceral reactions to pictures of dismembered foetuses to "important and intellectually meaningful" makes me question this...and not for the first time)

FTK is....how shall I put this...not.

Louis

Well, that's good to know.  I haven't seen enough of him, evidently, so his rather violent reaction to the fact that when I look at pictures of aborted fetuses (something I prefer not to do, just as I prefer not to watch video of eye surgery) and say, "Icky.  Blood and meat" as opposed to, "OH!  Poor little Bobby will NEVER ride a bike now" put him in FtK territory.  It would appear he's only a silly-billy like FtK on this particular subject.

So, I apologize to Heddle, although it's doubtful he'd accept since I'm an unfeeling monster or somesuch.  *sob*  But YOU love me, don't you, Louis?


Regarding "Both of you, however, classify anybody who doesn't have your opinion/response to abortion as less than human." I'll let FtK defend herself,  but that's not true for me. I have many dear friends who are pro-choice and have had abortions. I don't consider any of them monsters. If, however, they told me they had no visceral response to images of mangled, bloody fetuses--then I would reconsider.

As for the apology--not needed. I don't mind rough and tumble language--in fact it suits my personality and background much better that proper, civilized dialog. (It's Richard who has that kind of Formula-One/tea and crumpets mentality.)

Date: 2011/01/25 12:00:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Off Topic, and mostly for my pal Richard Hughes:

my son (who is autistic) on youtube.

You can bump this proud daddy to the BW, but he will not be deterred!

Date: 2011/01/25 12:29:01, Link
Author: dheddle
Thanks y'all for stroking my parent-ego. To answer one question--he has that pieced memorized, but he does not play by ear, he reads music.

Date: 2011/01/25 13:04:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,12:51)
 
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 25 2011,12:45)
lol....no one is going to hell just for having an abortion.

Right.  And you would know this, how, exactly?  And your credentials in this matter would be what, exactly?  (Forgive the snarky tone.  This isn't so different from FL or Biggy claiming to have the right interpretation of scripture, all others be damned.  Just because I LIKE your take on the matter doesn't mean I should just overlook the questions.)

Instead of telling this to us, why aren't you out trying to convince your fellow believers of this?  Because this makes you the first (Christian) pro-birther I've ever heard make this (welcome and encouraging) concession...and there are a whole lot of others who haven't gotten the memo.

I would add that, all snark on my part aside, I do find your commitment to reducing the number of abortions by education and other means of birth control to be more consistent and helpful than the usual noise that results.  Credit where it's due...


The MadPanda, FCD

You are kidding, right? Ftk is absolutely correct in this theological point--and it is broad-based Christianity 101. That is, Christianity teaches that you go to heaven if you have placed your faith in the power of Christ's death to atone for your sins. And if you don't, then you don't. On that there is nearly universal agreement--so much so that that is as good of a working definition of Christianity that you can find.

The consequence of which is:

If you have had abortions and have the aforementioned saving faith, you are saved.

If you devote your entire life to charity yet lack this faith, then you are lost.

The are a lot of details about which have internecine  warfare--such as how the faith is acquired, but on what I just wrote--no disagreement to speak of.  

We must associate with different Christians--because I never heard even one say "if you have an abortion you will go to hell." If I did, I'd be tempted to smack him.

Date: 2011/01/25 13:25:50, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,13:12)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,13:04)
 
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,12:51)
     
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 25 2011,12:45)
lol....no one is going to hell just for having an abortion.

Right.  And you would know this, how, exactly?  And your credentials in this matter would be what, exactly?  (Forgive the snarky tone.  This isn't so different from FL or Biggy claiming to have the right interpretation of scripture, all others be damned.  Just because I LIKE your take on the matter doesn't mean I should just overlook the questions.)

Instead of telling this to us, why aren't you out trying to convince your fellow believers of this?  Because this makes you the first (Christian) pro-birther I've ever heard make this (welcome and encouraging) concession...and there are a whole lot of others who haven't gotten the memo.

I would add that, all snark on my part aside, I do find your commitment to reducing the number of abortions by education and other means of birth control to be more consistent and helpful than the usual noise that results.  Credit where it's due...


The MadPanda, FCD

You are kidding, right? Ftk is absolutely correct in this theological point--and it is broad-based Christianity 101. That is, Christianity teaches that you go to heaven if you have placed your faith in the power of Christ's death to atone for your sins. And if you don't, then you don't. On that there is nearly universal agreement--so much so that that is as good of a working definition of Christianity that you can find.

The consequence of which is:

If you have had abortions and have the aforementioned saving faith, you are saved.

If you devote your entire life to charity yet lack this faith, then you are lost.

The are a lot of details about which have internecine  warfare--such as how the faith is acquired, but on what I just wrote--no disagreement to speak of.  

We must associate with different Christians--because I never heard even one say "if you have an abortion you will go to hell." If I did, I'd be tempted to smack him.

Heddle, I understand that you can't help it because you're a Calvinist, but since I consider Calvinism to be an immoral doctrine at best, your interpretation of ftk isn't helpful here.

Here you go with the argument from incredulity again!  You have either redefined Christian to mean an incredibly tiny subset of the whole, or you have some heavy-duty blinders on.

There is a reason I refer to your variation of the imaginary friend as a monster, but that's a completely different discussion for another time.


The MadPanda, FCD

Nice try (not really)  but alas there is no Calvinism in my post. Being saved by faith in the finished work of Christ is a doctrine shared by the majority of Christians. Calvinists, non-Calvinists, Protestants, and Catholics.

That's about the third time you used "heddle is a Calvinist" as a blunt instrument. If you want a piece of advice--wait until I actually make an argument from Calvinism before you use it as an argument stopper.

Date: 2011/01/25 13:42:18, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,13:33)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,13:25)
Nice try (not really)  but alas there is no Calvinism in my post. Being saved by faith in the finished work of Christ is a doctrine shared by the majority of Christians. Calvinists, non-Calvinists, Protestants, and Catholics.

That's about the third time you used "heddle is a Calvinist" as a blunt instrument. If you want a piece of advice--wait until I actually make an argument from Calvinism before you use it as an argument stopper.

Sorry, heddle, but mercy is for the merciful.  Your opinion on these matters is well known, as is your affiliation.  And since, in my opinion, your opinions on these matters come from your particular denomination's interpretation, I will continue to refer to this fact.  

If you feel I have misrepresented or misquoted you, of course, I would expect you to point it out...but let there be no misunderstanding--you are a Calvinist, as you have said so yourself many times.  It is hardly unfair of me to refer to you as such.

Since nobody is forcing you to read my posts, nor to respond to them, you might as well simply ignore them.  It isn't as though I have any plans of trying to change your mind.


The MadPanda, FCD

No you haven't misquoted me or insulted me or anything of that nature. Nor have you been unfair, per se. What you did was argue ad hominem. "Heddle is a Calvinist" is not relevant when the point I am making has nothing to do with Calvinism. For example, we can ask FtK (whom I do not believe is a Calvinist) if she agrees with my working definition of Christianity--that salvation comes from having faith in the work of Christ to atone for your sins. For crying out loud, you could ask Wes. Actually you could ask anyone who has studied Christianity for more than 15 minutes.

Date: 2011/01/25 14:10:21, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 25 2011,13:31)
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,12:00)
Off Topic, and mostly for my pal Richard Hughes:

my son (who is autistic) on youtube.

You can bump this proud daddy to the BW, but he will not be deterred!

*STANDS AND APPLAUDS*

Simply fantastic! I hope it brings him great joy to play it. What a gift! Tell him I think he's a star.

Thanks Rich (and Erasmus, and others).

Date: 2011/01/25 14:25:32, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,14:02)
   
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 25 2011,13:50)
I don't even know what matter exactly you are talking about at this point?  Be specific.

Why?  You aren't interested in answering an honest question.  And if you're not interested, I'm certainly not going to force you.

But since you want me to be specific:

Committing a murder will get someone sent to hell, right?

And abortion is murder, yes?

But an abortion will not get someone sent to hell...even though it's murder, and even though a lot of other Christians say that it will.  (Heddle's incredulity aside, he doesn't speak for every possible sect, and frankly his 'common ground' is a bit like describing Led Zepplin's farewell concert as four guys on stage playing instruments.  Accurate but not quite complete.)

So the question is, even though I find your interpretation a refreshing change of pace, why should I take it seriously?  Why is your interpretation better than, say, the Pope's?  Jerry Falwell's?  Joel Osteen's? FL's?


The MadPanda, FCD

Ok, I don't get this. I didn't get when Lenny did it either. I mean, what is the pleasure derived from asking questions about one's religion--only to add "why should I believe you rather than [insert some other Christian, preferably as unattractive one as is possible] or my pizza man?"

In the abstract it is a fair question--but what's the fun in the exercise? Especially when the person keeps saying I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm just answering your question.

Either you ask because you are intellectually curious about what the person's answer will be or you don't ask. But asking and then following up with "why should I believe you and not, say, Fred Phelps?" seems a bit tiresome.

I mean, really, does this:

Q: will I go to hell if I have an abortion?
A: no you don't go to hell for having an abortion.
Q: why should I believe your answer instead of Jerry Falwell's answer?

actually seem productive? Or demonstrative? Or in lieu of anything substantive does is it at least have the virtue of being clever and funny?

Personally I think not.

Date: 2011/01/25 14:37:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 25 2011,14:13)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,15:10)
 
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 25 2011,13:31)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 25 2011,12:00)
Off Topic, and mostly for my pal Richard Hughes:

my son (who is autistic) on youtube.

You can bump this proud daddy to the BW, but he will not be deterred!

*STANDS AND APPLAUDS*

Simply fantastic! I hope it brings him great joy to play it. What a gift! Tell him I think he's a star.

Thanks Rich (and Erasmus, and others).

thanx for posting it.  maybe not his style, but does he play Teh Joplin?

Scott Joplin (yes). Janice Joplin (my all-time fav female vocalist) no-so much. He does play some pop--but he likes the Beatles and Billy Joule. Got that from his mom...

His memory is very handy in church. If we are in "request a hymn mode" and someone shouts out: "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour" everyone will look to Luke who will announce: Number 242.

Last brag (I kind of promise): It's a close call whether he is better on the piano or the violin. (We'll have get a video of that posted some day.)

Date: 2011/01/26 11:19:57, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 26 2011,10:52)
PaV does physics:
 
Quote
I think of gravity in terms of entropy, and, of course, entropy, which deals with degrees of freedom and such, is related to QM. Over the last year, I believe it is Linde who has seen entropic gravity as a means of reconciling QM and GR. So I follow it along those lines.

Now, personally, I think an important element is missing, one, which, if true, and properly understood, would form the foundation of linking entropy to QM and to GR. Again, these are just personal fancies.

However, I came to the conclusion in 2003 that entropy was the opposite of gravity, and that the early inflationary period of the universe and dark energy would both be related to this entropic force. In 2010 a series of papers came out that gave plausible mathematical arguments for all of this. Nothing has come out recently; so I’m thinking a whole lot of stuff is brewing. I’m not a physicist, so I have to wait for the physicists to do their mental gymnastics. But it is fun to muse and to watch what will happen next.

As a hint to the missing element, I believe that space experiences—perpetually—a double expansion, both at the speed of light. SR and GR remain unaffected when seen in this light; and, QM is, as it is now, a coupling of “matter” to the second expansion. However, the second expansion eliminates (as best I can see) some of the fundamental problems QFT has to deal with, viz., renormalization.

How titillating is this?!


I think he should publish it in BIO-COMPLEXITY.

I don't think it would survive even that level of peer review.

Date: 2011/01/26 12:44:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 26 2011,11:50)
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 26 2011,11:19)
I don't think it would survive even that level of peer review.

O come on, Heddle. PCID saw it fit to publish William Brookfield, the ID Pleasurian. He proposed replacing the second law of thermodynamics with Murphy's law.

In Search of a Cosmic Super-Law: The Supreme “Second law” of Devolution

Brookfield is at least 34% cooler than any other IDer. We all know this.

Date: 2011/01/26 16:55:41, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 26 2011,16:12)
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 26 2011,18:44)
 
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 26 2011,11:50)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 26 2011,11:19)
I don't think it would survive even that level of peer review.

O come on, Heddle. PCID saw it fit to publish William Brookfield, the ID Pleasurian. He proposed replacing the second law of thermodynamics with Murphy's law.

In Search of a Cosmic Super-Law: The Supreme “Second law” of Devolution

Brookfield is at least 34% cooler than any other IDer. We all know this.

True.

But one small thing. You, being a physicist and all, probably have to do some maths and stuff. Tell me. What is 34% of zero?

Louis

Well that's certainly a flaw in my algorithm.

Date: 2011/01/28 09:14:19, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Stanton @ Jan. 27 2011,21:26)
   
Quote (MichaelJ @ Jan. 27 2011,21:01)
I believe that you could create a theological position that supports Abortion (As somebody wrote somewhere recently "If men had babies, abortion would be a sacrament").

However, I can't see why these same people support capital punishment. Isn't this taking away the possibility that they may repent and be born again and saved?

These people feel that whoever offends them is a sinner who neither wants nor deserves forgiveness or redemption.  Therefore, they feel that whoever offends them should be sent to Hell as soon as possible.

Why else would they do things like make websites demanding that abortion clinic doctors and Democratic politicians be murdered?

These people?? Are you kidding me?? You are really, Archie-Bunker-like, starting a rant with "These people..." ???

No doubt you can find sites dedicated to threats against abortion providers and clinics. You can find lunatic fringe websites for any outrageous position. You can probably find any number of websites dedicated to various forms of bigotry posting tirades beginning with These people...

It means nothing. What is relevant is the fact that the percentage of Christians who advocate murder and property destruction is negligible.

EDIT: spelling.

Date: 2011/01/28 10:32:35, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Bing @ Jan. 28 2011,10:12)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 28 2011,09:14)
What is relevant is the fact that the percentage of Christians who advocate murder and property destruction is negligible.

What is not negligible is the percentage of moderate Christians who, while they might disagree with the extremists, do not vigorously and publicly disabuse the extremists of their views.  

Silence =/= tacit approval but it might be interpreted that way.

Really. Funny, I hear it all the time. You must not be listening. Whenever there is one of these incidents there will be all manner of Christians denouncing the violence.

Do you also think not enough Muslims have spoken out against Islamic terrorism, and so their silence is tantamount to tacit approval?  

This "oh you don't scream loud enough therefore you are part of the problem" is a) wrong b) cheap and c) a red herring.

Date: 2011/01/28 12:35:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 28 2011,12:10)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 28 2011,16:32)
   
Quote (Bing @ Jan. 28 2011,10:12)
       
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 28 2011,09:14)
What is relevant is the fact that the percentage of Christians who advocate murder and property destruction is negligible.

What is not negligible is the percentage of moderate Christians who, while they might disagree with the extremists, do not vigorously and publicly disabuse the extremists of their views.  

Silence =/= tacit approval but it might be interpreted that way.

Really. Funny, I hear it all the time. You must not be listening. Whenever there is one of these incidents there will be all manner of Christians denouncing the violence.

Do you also think not enough Muslims have spoken out against Islamic terrorism, and so their silence is tantamount to tacit approval?  

This "oh you don't scream loud enough therefore you are part of the problem" is a) wrong b) cheap and c) a red herring.

1) Yes I think "moderate" muslims are far too silent too. These guys and gals should be the first people to speak out. Nice fatwa envy Heddle. This, from you, was spectacularly pathetic, do better and do better fast. Eurgh, I feel dirty just entertaining THAT piece of bigotry from you.

2) Silence is a part of the problem and is very far from a red herring or cheap. Your denial and defensiveness are beneath you. One of the major failings of ALL of us (this is a set that includes me by the way) is that we rarely get up onto our hind legs and speak or act when it's necessary. The pressures of life are sufficient to guarantee this, it's not a mark of wanton hypocrisy or cowardice. People have bills to pay and work to do. It's normal, banale, bog standard, dull. But then so much that is genuinely "evil" is. It's inaction that holds up desired change more than conspiracy against said change.

There's a cracking example of this on Pharyngula today about public school teachers in the USA preferring to avoid controversy by bowdlerising their teaching of biology. These people contribute very strongly to the problem. Go read the paper (and the many more like it).

Learn the lessons of history, Heddle, or else you are doomed to repeat them.

3) And I don't agree with this "I hear it all the time" from you either, sorry. Look at your own massive defensiveness here. Instead of "hmmm maybe I am (partly) my brother's keeper" (to butcher a bit of bible) you are lashing out at people pointing out that the majority of people in your country are "moderate" christians, and the majority of people are silent on these issues (at best).

The opposite of "it's rarely heard by comparison to the numbers of people available to shout" is not "I hear it all the time". Three hundred odd million people in the USA, the majority of whom are christian, the majority of whom (if your claim is true, and for the sake of argument let's not question it) don't support the actions of these whackos, you know I reckon some of them might be in positions of power. Positions of influence in the media. And yet by comparison the relative silence is deafening. The Palins and Limbaughs and Haggards and Becks and Phelpses etc all get their press time. Take a moment to listen to what these people are shovelling 'cos moderate it ain't. All that access to the tools of power by the moderates and very little condemnation comes forth.

This applies to EVERYONE by the way, on issues as far and wide as religion, war, foreign policy, healthcare yadda yadda yadda. The tendancy not to rock the boat or stick one's head above the parapet is universal, so don't feel like you and yours are uniquely singled out. However, don't feel that you and yours are uniquely invulnerable, you, just like we, ain't.

Louis

None of those you mentioned (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Phelps  [really, Phelps?]) are representatives of the Christian community. In fact--as far as evangelical Protestants are concerned there is no such position. We have no pope or archbishop of Canterbury.  If the media are going to those you mention for official Christian reaction—then they are going to blatherers without poprtfolio.

And exactly how are we supposed to scream and holler? Why don’t you sneak into a garden-variety evangelical church after one of these incidents? See if the pastor denounces the incident from the pulpit, or see if he rubs his hands together and tells the flock: remember to *pretend* to be horrified!.

If you actually ask someone who is influential in the evangelical Christian community—you might consider someone like John Piper. He has enormous influence—infinitely more than Sarah Palin or James Dobson . Do the media go to Piper (who, while being pro-life has in no uncertain terms condemned such violence?) No, they go to people like Palin or especially someone who might make an outrageous statement. And even so I suspect both Palin and Dobson, two of the worst representatives for Christianity you can imagine, would both denounce the violence.

There is probably a similar problem in the Muslim world. Going to an everyday Muslim and hearing him denounce terrorism  is not going to get you picked up by the networks.

Date: 2011/01/28 13:37:20, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 28 2011,13:07)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 28 2011,18:35)
[SNIP]

None of those you mentioned (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Phelps  [really, Phelps?]) are representatives of the Christian community. In fact--as far as evangelical Protestants are concerned there is no such position. We have no pope or archbishop of Canterbury.  If the media are going to those you mention for official Christian reaction—then they are going to blatherers without poprtfolio.

And exactly how are we supposed to scream and holler? Why don’t you sneak into a garden-variety evangelical church after one of these incidents? See if the pastor denounces the incident from the pulpit, or see if he rubs his hands together and tells the flock: remember to *pretend* to be horrified!.

If you actually ask someone who is influential in the evangelical Christian community—you might consider someone like John Piper. He has enormous influence—infinitely more than Sarah Palin or James Dobson . Do the media go to Piper (who, while being pro-life has in no uncertain terms condemned such violence?) No, they go to people like Palin or especially someone who might make an outrageous statement. And even so I suspect both Palin and Dobson, two of the worst representatives for Christianity you can imagine, would both denounce the violence.

There is probably a similar problem in the Muslim world. Going to an everyday Muslim and hearing him denounce terrorism  is not going to get you picked up by the networks.

Sorry, those people are not christians and do not tout themselves AS christians serving a (supposedly) christian agenda? Erm, I think they do, as even a cursory look at their outpourings will tell you.

Whether or not they are Troo Christianz ™ by the Heddle Standard is utterly irrelevant, they present themselves as such and doubtless would claim their doctrinal interpretations as superior to yours, just as you claim yours superior to theirs. I KNOW from endless iterations of this aspect of our online conversations you do not understand this. I KNOW you consider your specific narrow sect of christianity to be the "right" one, but then so do they, and so do the whackos we all despise (like Phelps and chums). It isn't a trivial question or red herring to be waved away as you usually do, and it isn't one amenable to the usual arse achingly dull and interminable biblical exegesis you and your co-religionists subject their interlocutors to. It's an epistmological question and one frequently (but I admit not exclusively) dodged by everyone from backwoods rube to "sophisticated theologian". The question of HOW you claim to know what you claim to know about your religion is a significant problem for you. Anyyyyyyyway, I digress. My point is you cannot honestly (as if that has ever worried you on this issue) hand wave away the problems with declaring people non-christian.

You and I both doubt the pastors of any church (maybe that should be the vast majority of churches for nits to pick) are saying "pretend to be horrifed". Not only do I genuinely believe most people do not share the attitudes of the extremists, even if they did, such things would be unnecessary. Tacit racism and sexism persist merrily in societies (even the Holy Liberal Lands of Europe ;-) ) without needing to be explicitly stated in official fora. If such attitudes were prevalent (and I need to make no claim that they are, I don't think they are), they hardly rely on the sort of naive caricature you have painted.

The comment you make about the Dobson/Palins* and their muslim counterparts misses my point. Your excuse is "it's not good TV to go to the non-frothing moderate"? Really? Read above, Heddle. If it is, as you say (and I'd agree), that the majority of folks are moderate religionists, then these are the people populating the news networks, internet and papers. They can, to some extent, set the agenda. The USA does not lack moderate christian millionaires, go for the American dream and set up a moderate newspaper etc. This is not what's getting done, the hysteria gets worse (and like the darling little poodles we are, the UK is emulating it, trust me, it's fun here too!) and the rhetoric descends ever gutterward in the classic race to the bottom. You do not belong to a persecuted minority, you hold the reins of power, use them. You cannot at once be the silent majority and a powerless victim.

Louis

*When did you fall out of love with La Palin? You were voting for her last time we spoke on the subject.


Whatever they tout themselves as is beyond my control. And I didn’t say they weren’t True Christians so why go that route? You cautioned about my doing something below my standards—your heading down the tiresome path of claiming or hinting that I am saying who is or is not a true Christian is below yours. I have no reason to doubt that Palin is sincere in her Christianity. That doesn’t mean she is my—or anyone else's—representative. If you must assign us a representative, why not one who actually appears to have influence on Christianity, not politics? When I go to on-campus Christian student activities, they are talking about people like John Piper or Mark Driscoll. They are not talking about Sarah Palin, Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

It is no different from asking: is PZ Myers atheism’s spokesman? I suspect a great many garden-variety atheists would say either “PZ who?” or “No, he is not my spokesman.” But who do you think the media would  ask, hoping for a good sound bite, should the occasion arise? PZ or the atheist in the street?

Some atheists in our distorted internet circles are stating rather loudly that raising children in a Christian home is a form of child abuse, and it is not even a surprise to find a comment here and there suggesting that such children should be removed.  I would like to think that the silent majority of atheists do not agree. But they aren’t saying much—should I take their silence as tacit approval?

As for Palin even when I supported her I would not have considered her as a Christian representative. But even so, again, I trust she would, if asked, denounce the murdering of an abortion doctor or the bombing of a clinic. (And since you asked:  my support for Palin evaporated when she quit her job. I have already decided that I have voted for the last time. Politics is too depressing.)

Date: 2011/01/29 08:31:42, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 28 2011,16:10)
False equivalence, there, Heddle...about what one might expect, but still, you're off your game here.  PZ Myers speaks only for PZ Myers, and he'll be the first person to tell you so...as you probably know.

Earlier, you say that Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, and Phelps are not representative of the Christian community.  Then you say you didn't say they aren't true Christians.

What you mean, obviously, is that three of these people are not clergy and have no official influence with any formally recognized denomination.  Phelps is clergy and does have official influence, but mercifully only holds sway over a tiny flock.

Unfortunately, what someone who isn't you sees in your response is "these people aren't really representative of a Christian attitude" even though they claim to be Christians, come from a Christian background, tout their credentials as true believers, slam their opposition as unChristian, et cetera.  

Nice try, but no cigar.  Splitting semantic frog hairs?  No True Scotsman, more like.


The MadPanda, FCD

I 'll assume you simple made a mistake when you wrote that I am saying:

Quote
these people aren't really representative of a Christian attitude


when in fact what I wrote was: they are not representatives--as in nobody has asked them or authorized them to speak on the behalf of Christians.

Like when I point out something that I think is a misconception about Christianity and I get the old: Yeah, heddle maybe you think that but why should I believe you rather than the pizza guy--who appointed you as the representative for Christianity?

Apparently if you like what a Christian says--probably because it is dumb and is easy to attack--then that is what qualifies them as bonafide "representative."

Date: 2011/01/29 10:01:25, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 29 2011,09:00)
so, where are these black swans, again?  certainly not attending the churches i have attended, certainly not writing letters to the editor of my local newspapers, certainly not in my family get togethers.

but, hey, leaders in the largest Protestant group in the United States have no problem with publicly yammering about how they are praying for Obama's death.


Maybe these clowns don't speak for the oh-so-sophisticated heddles, but they sure as hell seem to speak for the statistically average christianist.  heddle's experiences with which religious figures are influencing smart folks on college campuses is, ultimately, a survey of young folks who are losing their religion.  that is not the 'average' christian either.  too bad.

Really? I routinely seem to see letters to the editor (after one of one of these incidents) denouncing the violence. You really never see them?

And the churches you attended-- they applauded the violence? Really? Your family members applaud the violence? Really?

And what leaders? You are talking about one man as far as I can tell--Wiley Drake-- (a man with a talk radio show no less--and so there is some self-selection toward lunacy) whose outrageousness peaked after he left office at the SBC*. Furthermore all his tirades, including happiness at the death of Tiller and prayer against Obama were unequivocally denounced by the the SBC press.

So who are these leaders or even current leader? Did Al Mohler, president of their flagship seminary** applaud the violence?

Let's see how well Wiley Drake does if he runs for election as President of the SBC.

Oh--you should write a letter to our faculty--because the concern I have heard expressed is not that the young people at our university are losing their religion--but that they are more religious*** (in the sense of their seriousness) than ever before. You could reassure them, the faculty, that this is just a symptom of the students losing their faith.

*Just for clarity, I am a southern Baptist, but not a Southern Baptist. Like I am a Christian scientist but not a Christian Scientist.

**FYI our young pastor, who attends Mohler's seminary, prays every week at the start of his sermon for President Obama.

***And more Calvinistic, I might add. Although the faculty doesn't comment on that--it's my observation--borne out by data.

Date: 2011/01/29 12:48:30, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (MadPanda @ FCD,Jan. 29 2011,12:01)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 29 2011,08:31)
Apparently if you like what a Christian says--probably because it is dumb and is easy to attack--then that is what qualifies them as bonafide "representative."

I do not think it is possible for you to miss the point any more blatantly than this.  So let's try it again, shall we?

These people are Christians, yes?  (Even if they aren't True Christians by your reckoning, or aren't acting in an acceptably Christ-like manner by, say, John Kwok's reckoning.)

These people use their Christianity as a justification, rationale, and motivation for their heated rhetoric and inflammatory denunciations of the 'other'.

They are also popular to varying degrees (Phelps being an exception) whose pronouncements do not meet a storm of disapproval from pulpits (or at least no storm that is ever fully reported).  They are certainly not held up as shameful examples of excess by their crowds of adoring fans, who seem to hold the same shallow, silly, childish view of the world that they publicly espouse.  Quite the opposite.

That makes them a representative sample, whether or not you like it, whether or not anyone's officially asked that they become the public voice.  Your attempt to dodge your (collective) responsibility in this matter is pretty pathetic.


The MadPanda, FCD

The MadPanda, FCD

   
Quote
(Even if they aren't True Christians by your reckoning, )


Since I never, ever make a claim regarding who is a True Christian,--you can kiss my ass for implying that I do.

   
Quote
That makes them a representative sample, whether or not you like it,


Are you being disingenuous on purpose, or is this concept too difficult to grasp?

Once again: I didn't say they were not a representative sample, I said, they do not represent Christianity. They are not the same. There are an infinite number of groups that are representative of Christianity. They are not (duh) our official representatives.  Even though they are representative samples, they speak only for themselves.

   
Quote
whose pronouncements do not meet a storm of disapproval from pulpits (or at least no storm that is ever fully reported).


We are talking about abortion violence. Give me one example of, say, Palin supporting violence against abortion doctors or clinics.

And the standard, by the way, asinine. Reporters do not come in to garden variety churches and listen to whether someone like Phelps is denounced. If they did, they would in fact hear Phelps being denounced with regularity. (As an example, my previous church was threatened by Phelps because our pastor wrote a letter condemning Westboro Baptist.)

Have you heard a lot of reporting on the thoughts of common man-in-the-street atheists about whether they support some of Pete Singers more outrageous "ethics"? Have you seen reporting about whether the atheist next door thinks it is a good idea to desecrate a communion wafer and a Koran and to describe pictures of aborted fetuses as meat?

I haven't--but I'm not pinheaded enough to assume that the onus is on the typical atheist to make me fully aware--to my ever-changing standard of satisfaction-- that he is appalled by bad behavior from some fellow atheists. Nor do I assume, just because he hasn't told me otherwise, that just because some jackasses like PZ are famous--that  that means they are representatives of atheism.

(Yes I know, PZ would not claim that he is atheism's representative. Do you have a link where Sarah Palin announces that she is Christianity's representative?)

Date: 2011/02/18 13:37:17, Link
Author: dheddle
I just want to remind Richard Hughes that the Daytona 500 is this Sunday. It's not like that feminine fuel-injected, paddle-shifting racing they do in Europe--it's manly stuff with gear shifters and carburetors. He's my friend and I want him to watch--I think it will do him good.

So Richard, grab yourself a good reactionary brew--like maybe Coors, and sit back and enjoy the race!

Date: 2011/03/01 17:18:17, Link
Author: dheddle
Are ant colony algorithms examples of genetic algorithms?

Date: 2011/03/02 06:29:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 01 2011,21:07)
If something has heritable properties that are passed from parent to child instance, that is likely to be considered included broadly within evolutionary computation. "Genetic algorithm" is a specific form of evolutionary computation due to John Holland. GAs operate on instances that are fixed-length bit strings. Other evolutionary computation differs from that. For instance, the Avida program fits in "genetic programming" specifically and "artificial life" categories in evolutionary computation. It operates on variable-length, fixed cardinality symbol sets (fixed cardinality for any given run; that can be changed by instantiating an instruction set of different size).

I suspect ant colony simulations are not, strictly speaking, in evolutionary computation. I would think that they would fit in both natural computation and emergent computation categories.

Hmm.  I never made a distinction between evolutionary algorithms and GAs. Are you saying the latter is a subset of the former where the solution is necessarily represented by a bit string? None of the implementation I wrote used bits--they all used real numbers (and/or ints) to represent solutions.

The question I asked was along a "theory of algorithms" direction. That's a topic in which I have little expertise. But I recall reading (IIRC) that simulated annealing can be shown to be equivalent to a GA--and having done both (though not with bit representations) that "smelled" right.

For fun I thought I'd try a traveling salesman by an ant colony algorithm, and it struck me that it will just be a GA  where the fitness function is maximal pheromone detection.

Date: 2011/03/16 15:06:53, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (REC @ Mar. 16 2011,14:34)
How the deuce does PaV go from life being 3500 million years old to 2000 million years old*?

Even if we assumed the test really rules out biological origins of this fossil, and that all fossils of this type are mineral, and not biological on origin, what about the stromatolites of nearly the same age?

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/24/9548.abstract

OR some really definitive ones of 2800 million years old:

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n2/full/ngeo107.html

*Based one mini-press release, not finding carbon in fossils. Why do these types think scientific consensus is found in the press release?

And why don't they Google "oldest fossil" before posting? Seriously.

Not to mention, in the category of No Free Lunch, what would be good from their perspective: 1.5 by less time for evolution would also be bad from their perspective: 1.5 by more time for abiogenesis.

I would think they would prefer even older fossils, to stress (shorten) the amount of time between earth's cooling and the appearance of life. I think they didn't think this through before declaring a win for the home team.

Date: 2011/09/28 17:57:11, Link
Author: dheddle
Off topic. Tenure track faculty positions available, at least one in Mathematical Biology.

Read about 'em here.

(I have moved from the physics department to chair, temporarily, the Mathematics department.)

Equivalent statements:

1) We are an EoE.

2) Preference without prejudice will be given to anyone who can calculate the specified complexity of any living organism.

Date: 2011/10/04 10:36:09, Link
Author: dheddle
What happened to Richard Hughes? Is he still active?

Date: 2011/10/04 10:36:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Oh there you are! I feared the worst.

Date: 2011/10/04 10:55:05, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 04 2011,10:48)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 04 2011,10:36)
Oh there you are! I feared the worst.

Alright Dave - just a bit busy, and underwhelmed by current ID shenanigans.

Hope you're well - congrats on your rise to academic power. Be sure to Expel! those who disagree.

I didn't even know they changed their site (when did that happen?) As for my rise to power, it is temporary (2 years). I don't like admin crap. I want to be back in the trenches.

No golden, glorious, gleaming pristine goddess--
No sir!
For no Diana do I play faun.
I can tell you that right now.
I snarl, I hiss: How can ignorance be compared to bliss?
I spark, I fizz for the lady who knows what time it is.
I cheer, I rave, for the virtue I'm too late to save,
The sadder-but-wiser girl for me.

Date: 2011/10/05 13:44:28, Link
Author: dheddle
Jason Rosenhouse of JMU and EvolutionBlog fame will speak at Christopher Newport University on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 4:00 pm in Forbes 1022 and on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 pm in Gosnold 202.

Tuesday's talk will be on The Creationism v. Evolution Wars and is sponsored jointly by the Departments of Mathematics and Biology.

Wednesday's talk is a Mathematics colloquium on the Monty Hall Problem.

Any AtBC'ers in the Hampton Roads area* are welcome to attend.

=========
* The Hampton Roads area includes Yorktown. All you Brits have heard of Yorktown, right? Louis?

Date: 2012/05/10 17:11:00, Link
Author: dheddle
Wow, it did me good to stop by after a long absence and see this old thread near the top! Makes me pine for those good 'ole days of Friday meltdowns and bodacious wagers.

Date: 2012/12/18 18:53:55, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 08 2012,20:59)
 
Quote (J-Dog @ Dec. 08 2012,15:31)
 
Quote (Quack @ Dec. 08 2012,03:09)
I have not been able to find an email address. As for snail mail, I don't feel comfortable with that wrt. the person in question. I wrote about ID vs. evolution and not about him. In his reply he said things like

     
Quote
I've made the personal choice of  believing in God. Not all people share this sensus divinitatis.
...

So I know exactly what I am up against. My friends and acquintances may rest assured that mr. Aalberg's characterisation of me doesn't incringe on my wellbeing.

(Sensus divinitatis, from Calvin)

   
Quote
(Sensus divinitatis, from Calvin)


Calvinist is it?!  So turn him over to David Heddle.  It's pre-ordained.

The tenants before us in our current place was a Calvinist minister and his wife and kids. I had no idea that Calvinists were still around. ;)

BTW, we're buying a house. Not because of the Calvinists, though.

Oh we Cavinists are everywhere! Watching you with our Ichabod Crane lidless-eye gaze.

Date: 2012/12/19 08:52:59, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 18 2012,20:16)
Yo heddle! Long time, no C!

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays..

Date: 2012/12/19 09:06:44, Link
Author: dheddle
Oh my--just read through this thread. I don't have the stomach for this any more. Carry on.

Date: 2012/12/19 12:22:27, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 19 2012,12:17)
here's a funny comment from Planet Source Code

 
Quote
1/8/2012 5:43:00 AM: bobghengiskhan
__
I know I am new to this site but really, I don't get it. Whilst I have no major issues with the code itself, the 30 page "documentation" (besides for some reason being supplied twice) seems to contain pages and pages of material that bear no obvious relationship to the program itself. And worse, makes it appear as if the publication of the code itself has more to do with some kind of pro Intelligent Design agenda (though not in any form that the Discovery Institute or its advocates would recognise, I am sure) than anything else.

Holy crap stevestory! I thought you were, like, dead.

What is the CSI of the documentation?

Date: 2012/12/19 20:04:46, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 19 2012,16:52)
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 19 2012,13:34)
Actually, heddle, if you've got nothing to do, scan over his ...word usements...and see if you can tell what he's saying. We can't quite make out what exactly his theory is supposed to be.

But we've been told we are powerless to stop it from being taught in high schools.

Unlike political activists who shoot-off their mouths without knowing what they're talking about, science teachers welcome the help.  The theory is already in some high schools. Parts of it are mixed into the usual K-8 curriculum.

Tomorrow I'll be taking the high-speed press (which arrived this week) off the skids. Already have half a skid of natural white (light tan) text, for printing a nice batch of 7x10 booklets.

Gary,

I am a conservative evangelical Christian and a scientist ( a nuclear physicist). I am a university professor and I do research at a national lab. My Christianity/Science blog is here.

Would you send me a copy of your theory? I would give it a fair review.

Date: 2012/12/20 09:48:48, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 20 2012,08:19)
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 19 2012,20:04)
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 19 2012,16:52)
 
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 19 2012,13:34)
Actually, heddle, if you've got nothing to do, scan over his ...word usements...and see if you can tell what he's saying. We can't quite make out what exactly his theory is supposed to be.

But we've been told we are powerless to stop it from being taught in high schools.

Unlike political activists who shoot-off their mouths without knowing what they're talking about, science teachers welcome the help.  The theory is already in some high schools. Parts of it are mixed into the usual K-8 curriculum.

Tomorrow I'll be taking the high-speed press (which arrived this week) off the skids. Already have half a skid of natural white (light tan) text, for printing a nice batch of 7x10 booklets.

Gary,

I am a conservative evangelical Christian and a scientist ( a nuclear physicist). I am a university professor and I do research at a national lab. My Christianity/Science blog is here.

Would you send me a copy of your theory? I would give it a fair review.

Certainly. If you have a link with a mailing address then I'll add it to my list.

You can send it to:

David Heddle
Department of Mathematics
CNU
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606

Date: 2013/12/17 09:13:22, Link
Author: dheddle
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 16 2013,22:24)
There is a well-studied example in statistical physics where a chance hypothesis can lead either to an equal distribution of heads and tails or to a spontaneous prevalence of heads over tails (or vice versa). It's known as the Ising model of a ferromagnet.

Put the coins in a square array and stipulate that any configuration with a given energy is equally likely. The energy is computed as follows: two adjacent coins with the same orientation (both heads or both tails) reduce the energy by one unit. This is the formulation of the Ising model in the microcanonical ensemble (fixed energy). One can also work in the canonical ensemble (fixed temperature). The results will be the same in a large system.

From extensive studies of this simple model system we know that it can be in one of two phases. When the energy is higher than a critical value (high temperature), the system has equal numbers of heads and tails. However, when the energy goes below the known threshold (temperature below the critical value) there will be more heads or tails (or vice versa). We even know the exact formula for the imbalance.

So this is a chance hypothesis that is perfectly able to generate reliably more heads than tails (or vice versa).

And, more generally, see spontaneous symmetry breaking.

 

 

 

=====